The Automation and Technical Services Department is responsible for maintaining, upgrading, troubleshooting and training staff in the use of our ILS (Integrated Library System) software. The ILS allows libraries to efficiently manage and track their collections and provide excellent service for the libraries and residents of our three county service area.
Our ILS: SirsiDynix Horizon
CEFLS has used a variety of ILS’s over the years, beginning its automation efforts in the 1970’s. We have had our current ILS, Horizon, since 2004, and it allows libraries to register patrons, catalog materials, keep track of loans, and produce a variety of reports. One of the most powerful features is the request system, which allows staff and patrons to easily place requests on materials owned by any of our 30 member libraries. Combined with our delivery system, the ILS increases the purchasing power of libraries by satisfying many patron more requests with fewer purchased copies. Over 37,000 requests are filled each year using this system, which equates to about 9% of total circulation.
In recent years we have moved the ILS hardware from our office to a more secure but still economical host site in Watertown, NY. The arrangement with our larger neighboring library system, North Country Library System, has been stable and provides assurance of professional IT services and backups for our valuable data.
How Automation is Funded
Each member library contributes to the cost of our ILS through a yearly payment, which is assessed on a sliding scale so that the smallest libraries are able to participate. The automation fee is the lowest of any library system in New York. The contributions pay for most of the support fee that CEFLS pays to SirsiDynix to allow us to upgrade the software and receive help with any problems. The additional cost of CEFLS personnel and hosting of the ILS are subsidized by CEFLS. An automation contract signed by the board presidents of each library and CEFLS detail the responsibilities of each party.
A group called CEFCAT (CEF Cataloging Group), which is composed of member library directors and CEFLS staff, meets quarterly to discuss anything related to the ILS. While many procedures and policies are individual by library, there are some procedures that have been agreed upon by the CEFCAT group to make the shared ILS work well for everyone.
CEFCAT meets at the CEFLS office at 33 Oak St., Plattsburgh, NY. The meeting time is 10am – noon unless otherwise announced, and there is usually a training session or meeting of the Member Advisory Committee after a short break for lunch. The following are planned CEFCAT Meeting dates for 2019:
Friday, September 6 and Monday, December 6
Staff should familiarize themselves with the following:
- CEFCAT Standards
- Circulation Guidelines
- Brief Records Procedure
- Fast-Adds Procedure
- Overdue Notice Procedure
- Overdue Notices with Email
- Periodical Cataloging Procedure
- Request Pull List
- Rotating Collections
- Weeding Procedure
- Training Archive : More ILS-related training documents and recorded webinars can be found here.
- Confidentiality of Library Records : New York State Law protects patron privacy, and this is an important responsibility of library staff.