Between October 2018 and February 2019, the Warrenton Community Library began a transformation of library services. With the funding and support available through a 2017 voter-approved levy and a joint LSTA grant with the neighboring Seaside Public Library, this small coastal library was able to introduce a full suite of online services to its patrons. Just as importantly, Warrenton was able to join a shared ILS environment and facilitate patron access to a wider range of resources.
Previously, the library used card-based checkout. A simple MARC software application was used to create a catalog of bibliographic records accessible only to staff. In 2018, the license for the MARC database expired and the library no longer had a catalog of its materials. The collections became accessible only by browsing.
Warrenton patrons embraced the many outstanding services provided at the library: a diverse selection of resources, collection development that is responsive to patron needs, and a supportive, small-town atmosphere. However, it was time to embrace the opportunities afforded to Oregon libraries in the digital age.
This LSTA project, for which I served as Project Manager Librarian, resulted in many expanded services. These included circulation and expanded resource sharing in a shared ILS. Warrenton also joined the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, developed a new library website, and provided patrons with access to Gale databases.
For this article, I will be focusing on the systems and cataloging aspects of the project. Through the four months of automation work spent in Warrenton, I gained a new appreciation for the interconnectedness of library services, as the change in systems drove transformations both anticipated and unexpected.
It’s Automatic: Library Automation as a Catalyst For Transformation.
© 2019 Michelle Lenox
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