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Monterey County Free Libraries announces new online catalog

Branches temporarily close to begin training staff

Monterey County Free Libraries King City Branch (Ryan Cronk/Staff)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Free Libraries has announced the migration of the online library catalog from Polaris to Koha by Bywater Solutions.

The online catalog is how patrons and staff locate the books, audiobooks and DVDs in the library collection. In the library world, this software is called an Integrated Library System, or ILS, because it encompasses much more than just a catalog of circulating items.

Koha, an open-source ILS, is used at other local public libraries in Monterey County as well as worldwide. It will help MCFL achieve its technological goals by making library materials more accessible to the public in a user-friendly interface.

“It will add convenience and will significantly reduce costs,” according to MCFL in a news release. “Since it is open source, Koha continuously evolves to meet the needs of its user base and includes modules for circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, patron management and more.”

Library patrons will see a noticeable change in the look of the online catalog. Koha will have an added discovery layer called ASPEN Discovery. The discovery layer enables library users to more easily connect to the materials and information they seek and will give users a better online experience.

ASPEN Discovery also comes with an app, called Aspen LiDA. Patrons will be able to download this app (from Google Play or Apple) to their phone or tablets and browse the library collections, store their library cards, search downloads of electronic resources and more. 

All MCFL Branches will be closed Feb. 22, 23 and 24 to start training library staff on all aspects of the Koha ILS. On March 21, Koha will “go live” on public library computers.

“MCFL appreciates the community’s patience as patrons get familiar with this new online catalog and discovery service,” the release stated.

Anyone with questions can call 831-883-7555 for more information.