Category Archives: News

screenshot-koha

New ILS!

The Collingswood Public Library is getting a new ILS on Monday, November 14 (see image above for a sneak peek of our new catalog). What is an ILS?  ILS stands for integrated library system, which is essentially software that manages the library catalog, patron records, circulation records, payments, and the interplay of those elements. Learn more about this whole “ILS” thing here.

Almost everything you do in the library goes through the ILS – whether you’re searching the catalog, checking items in or out, signing onto the computers, accessing eBooks, or printing a document – all of those functions rely on the ILS.  Our current ILS has served us reasonably well for many years, but the product will be discontinued at the end of this year. Like hundreds of other libraries in our position, we have chosen this opportunity to switch to an Open Source ILS called Koha. You can learn more about Koha here.

What does this mean for patrons?

  • Once Koha is up and running, you will be able to search the catalog more easily and more dynamically than ever before. You will have more control over your account, and you will be able to access new features.
  • When you go to the library’s website, you will still find the catalog link in the same place, but that link will take you to our newly designed catalog.
  • The biggest difference is that the catalog features a single integrated search bar that allows you to search for title, author, subject, series, or keyword. If you want to do a more directed search, there is an Advanced Search feature that will allow you to be as precise as you like in your search — specifying format, location, age level, and many other options.

Online users: the biggest change you will encounter is that your old login and password won’t work when logging into your library accounts. User PINs are private, so we cannot transfer that information to our new system. In Koha, everyone will use their library card barcode as their login, and their password will be their last name in ALL CAPS. Once you log in to the new system, you will be able to change your password. We recommend keeping your barcode as the username, but you may change that as well. Usernames and passwords for eBook vendors will not be affected, so you can continue to use 3M, Overdrive, Gale, and Tumblebooks as usual.

As we transition, we may have some data hiccups, so please be patient as we find bugs that need to be fixed, and let us know if you find something that isn’t working properly.
We will need one day to complete records transition and staff training, so the library will be closed on Sunday, November 13.  Any items due on November 13 will be accepted on Monday without any overdue fees. You can also return all library items on Sunday by placing them in the bookdrops outside. We will empty them throughout the day and check those items in as soon as our system goes “live.”