August 19, 2011

A NEW ERA FOR ALLOWAY LIBRARY


Today marks a new era for TWU’s Norma Marion Alloway Library as staff go live with SirsiDynix Symphony, a new computer-based system that manages all aspects of the library’s operations.  This integrated library system provides a whole new interface designed to meet library users’ needs wherever they are -- in or out of the library -- and includes a powerful, user-friendly, web-based discovery portal known as eLibrary.  

"This is a good news story!" says University Librarian Ted Goshulak. "Something to celebrate at this time of year." Library staff  have been working since the early spring with SirsiDynix technicians to implement  all the behind-the-scenes work required to launch both the new eLibrary interface for public use and  the internal staff client software.  Staff underwent many hours of web-based and teleconferenced training sessions to gain familiarity with Symphony’s features.

"It truly is a miracle that the new system has finally becoming a reality, " notes Shirley Lee, Alloway Library's Systems Librarian and Project Coordinator. "The change could inspire fear and relief at the same time for those of us who have come to know the former Horizon operating system. Thankfully we have not gone through this transition on our own,” she adds. "We have dedicated support from SirsiDynix and our own IT department."

SirsiDynix Symphony is the most complete and customizable integrated library system available today. Comprehensive features will allow Alloway Library to highlight the breadth and depth of our collections and better serve our researchers’  ever-growing information needs. It will also provide the library with tools that we can use to further improve our users’ experiences. 

Today's library users expect the same speedy and relevant search results, added content and social networking features at the library that they enjoy elsewhere.  Alloway Library’s  eLibrary has many great features that will enhance research and library-use including:
  • Easy-to-use searching, with full-text and unlimited index searches
  • New navigation tools that make it easier to move through lists of search results
  • Online solutions allowing library users to manage their library accounts, place and manage holds and renew items on loan
  • The ability to maintain and manage search results with MyLists
  • Enhanced record descriptions that provide more than just a call number. Now, a search in the catalogue provides features such as book cover images, reviews  and even a look inside the item.
  • Flexible hold policies, with the ability to create and better manage requests for library material.
  •  mobile library access using the BookMyne app for iPhones.
Coinciding with the introduction of the new operating system, and in response to user requests for access to more resources for extended periods of time , circulation policies have been overhauled.  Sure-to-be-popular  changes include increasing the number items that grad students can borrow and permitting up to four online renewals for most items.  Existing user-friendly services, such as advance due-date notices and low fine rates, remain unchanged.

Because Symphony is a completely customizable and configurable platform, watch for changes in eLibrary features and appearance as library staff continue to refine it to create a tool that best meets the needs of our users. 
Alloway Library’s eLibrary can be found online at library.twu.ca

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to pass along my thanks for the new library system! I'm still getting used to parts of it, but overall, I love it - it's easier to search and find what I'm looking for, and the "My Account" section is also improved.

So, thanks!