Parish library closing for upgrades

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 9, 2009

FERRIDAY — The Concordia Parish Library is closing its doors at all of its branches next week.

But the closure, which be Tuesday to Thursday, isn’t permanent — it’s to upgrade the library’s electronic card catalog and train the staff how to use it.

The new catalog will be a web-based system, replacing the current server-based system, Head Librarian Amanda Taylor said.

Email newsletter signup

Hurricane Gustav damaged the server-based system currently in place, and the parts of the server had to be shipped to New York, where the information was pieced together bits at a time, she said.

“The new system has a server, but because it’s Web-based (the server) will be housed in New York, so there are no more hurricane problems,” Taylor said.

The upgrade will also allow library patrons to access the catalog online.

“All you have to do is put in the bar code number from your library card,” Taylor said.

It will also allow users to place holds on books themselves, see what fines they owe and review a history of the media they have checked out.

“With the reading history, patrons will be able to look back and — if they’re reading books in a series — say, ‘Oh, I read that book last year,’” Taylor said.

The system will also display the covers of books when looking at the book information on the online catalog, and will better help the library staff generate reports and gather data, she said.

The library will re-open Friday, but will only offer book and other media services, but will not allow computer access.

That will be so the library staff can practice checking books and other media in and out to make sure they understand everything, Taylor said.

Also, until Oct. 31, library patrons will be allowed to return books and other materials with amnesty from fines.

When fines kick back in, Taylor said some changes in fines have been made.

The new fines will be $0.10 a day for books, magazines, newspapers and vertical files that are overdue, while books on tape or CD, DVDs, equipment, music CDs and videos will have an attached fine of $0.50 per day they are overdue.