Midland Public Library

Midland Public Library Gains Functionality in Replacing Horizon with the VERSO® Integrated Library System

Challenge:

Midland Public Library in Ontario, Canada, currently serves a growing population of 16,500 and is supported by a dedicated staff. Providing library services since 1880, the Midland Public Library is located in a beautiful historic building that has also served as a Federal Government building, a Post Office, Customs Office, Steamship Inspection Office and Licensing facility.

While planning major renovations to expand library facilities within their historic location, the Midland Public staff began looking into the possibility of implementing a few technology renovations, such as adding serials and acquisitions modules. During the process, the team at Midland Public was informed by SirsiDynix that the company would soon be ending support for its Horizon Integrated Library System (ILS), which was currently operating at Midland Public.

SirsiDynix offered Midland Public Library the option to migrate to the company's alternative ILS system, Symphony. Unfortunately, the estimate presented by SirsiDynix for migration to Symphony was cost prohibitive, even though Midland had been a SirsiDynix customer for more than nine years.

The team at Midland Public Library reviewed the ILS systems available to them and evaluated products provided by Polaris Library Systems, Innovative Interfaces and Auto-Graphics, as well as open source products - Koha and Evergreen. After careful review and evaluation, the team at Midland Public Library selected Auto-Graphics' VERSO® ILS.

Solution:

"VERSO was the right choice for our library for several reasons," said Betty Fullerton, Systems Librarian at Midland Public Library. "For starters, the price was reasonable and enabled us to add more functionality, including serials and acquisitions modules, for considerably less than with SirsiDynix. We also really liked the scalability of VERSO and the fact that the menu system is much easier to navigate compared to Horizon."

Once Midland Public Library had selected VERSO , the team at Auto-Graphics began working with the team at Midland to ensure that the data conversion from Horizon to VERSO went as smoothly as possible. Prior to the actual production migration, Auto-Graphics ran numerous mock conversions to ensure all transactions were accounted for and any potential programming issues were resolved. The Midland library staff reviewed the mock conversions and validated the process by spot-checking data from the VERSO system back to their Horizon system. The final conversion took place over just four hours and included 4,604 checkout records, 405 reserve or hold records and a fine history of 53,756 records.

"I was amazed by the precision and accuracy that the Auto-Graphics staff strived for," said Fullerton. "The actual conversion was very efficient; we closed on Monday evening, and when we opened Tuesday at 9 AM, we were using VERSO!"

Results:

According to Fullerton, the Midland Public Library's overall experience migrating from Horizon to VERSO was "fantastic both during the implementation and now that VERSO is operational. Every issue that comes up has been addressed with a fix or alternative solution," continued Fullerton. The Systems Librarian also noted Auto-Graphics' openness to customer suggestions regarding its new user interface, with suggestions either implemented immediately or scheduled for an upcoming release.

VERSO by Auto-Graphics has provided Midland Public Library with the following benefits:

  • Expanded functionality - VERSO's integrated design enabled Midland Public to add both serials and acquisitions modules to their base ILS system without adding cost.
  • More robust interface - The user interface provides a user-friendly interface for Midland Public's patrons, and the back-end administration simplifies ILS management tasks for the library's staff.
  • Painless upgrade - Auto-Graphics' highly responsive and experienced technology and customer support teams provided the Midland Public Library staff with a smooth and efficient migration from Horizon, and the teams continue to address Midland Public's needs as a valued Auto-Graphics customer.

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"Moving from Horizon to VERSO just made sense!"

Betty Fullerton Systems Librarian at Midland Public Library