BELOIT - The Beloit Public Library is moving towards a new catalog system to connect residents to more resources, from books to e-materials, and 28 public libraries serving surrounding counties, according to library administrative staff.
The library, along with the other libraries in the Arrowhead Library System, will join SHARE - a new library catalog and account portal. This will replace the current RockCat catalog system. Starting in mid-January, library users will experience the new system and the new way to manage accounts.
To prepare for the changes, library goers should make sure all contact information is updated and print or save any library histories, lists or searches patrons want to keep since information will not transfer to the new system.
The switch offers library users a larger collection, including over 2 million more items and access to materials at the public libraries serving Rock, Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.
The new system will allow users to shift towards a more integrated digital experience, using the new search result system using the Libby and Hoopla applications and the BookMyne library catalog and account.
Making the jump to SHARE coincides with the library's push to offer more digital options, from accessing computers and tablets to offering more digital content, according to Beloit Public Library Director Nick Dimassis.
"Using the latest technology to connect the collections of multiple library systems gives our taxpayers a larger pool of resources to access," Dimassis said. "Over two million items, in fact, often delivered the next day. It's simple: with innovation comes greater efficiency and better customer service, for less cost."
Current library cards of those within Rock County will remain valid, even after updating contact information.
"It's really to your benefit to keep your library account up-to- date for several reasons," says ALS director Steve Platteter. "Your new SHARE PIN number is going to be the last four digits of your phone number on file, and it ensures circulation notices and other important information reaches you. It also helps your local library get proper funding."
Officials stressed the need for users to save all backlogged items ahead of the switch so saved items aren't lost.
All catalogs including, Ratings, Checkout History, My Lists and Preferred Searches will not transfer in the new catalog. The new catalog system will have similar features, officials said.
Library cards are free, requiring a short application and photo identification and proof of address, including a postmarked bill.
For more information about SHARE and its features, stop by Beloit Public Library or visit als.lib.wi.us/share.html.
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