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The Collingswood Public Library has a new ILS! 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 old ILS served us reasonably well for many years, but the product has been discontinued. 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?
- With Koha, you are now able to search the catalog more easily and more dynamically than ever before. You have more control over your account, and you have access to new features.
- When you go to the library’s website, you still find the catalog link in the same place, but that link takes you to our newly designed catalog.
- The biggest difference is that the catalog features a single integrated search bar which 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 could not transfer that information to our new system.
In Koha, everyone uses their library card barcode as their login, and your password will be your 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 we can change that for you 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.