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PrairieCat libraries upgrading catalog

Transition to new system will take place in early July

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012 10:46 a.m. CST

CHANNAHON — The 130 libraries that are members of the PrairieCat library consortium will update their computer system during the next few weeks.

This update will launch a new, easy-to-use library catalog with additional features for users. The new catalog should be available beginning Thursday, July 5.

The PrairieCat catalog includes over 3.1 million library holdings and serves 340,000 patrons, including the users of the Three Rivers Public Library District in Channahon and Minooka.

There are many new features that the member libraries believe patrons will like.

In My Account in the library catalog, it will be easier for users to see checked out items, view holds, and renew items. Users will also have the ability to freeze holds (as long as they meet certain criteria) and unfreeze them when ready for them. They will also be able to indicate a date they need the hold by.

Patrons will be able to opt to receive their overdue and courtesy notices via phone, email or print. Text notices will be added in the future.

Another change is that patrons will be able to “opt-in” to save their check out history. Once they opt-in, the catalog will keep track of everything they have checked out, unless they opt-out. If they opt-out for any reason, the history will be erased.

Users can choose to opt back in at anytime, with the check out history beginning from the new opt-in date.

Two features sure to be popular with patrons and library staff are the Availability search and the Did You Mean? response. By clicking on Availability, the patron can narrow their search to only items currently on the library shelf. Did You Mean? attempts to match misspelled titles or authors with possible matches.

The PrairieCat system will be down on July 2 and 3 while the changeover is completed. Patrons will not be able to place holds from June 30 to July 6. On July 2 and 3, users will be able to check out, but not renew materials or pay fines or bills.

The catalog will be available but status information may not be accurate. Contact Three Rivers Public Library District at (815) 467-6200 or (815) 467-1600 with any questions.

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