On April 9 it will become possible to borrow a book from the Kankakee Library and pick it up at the Harrisburg, Eldorado, Carrier Mills or Galatia libraries. Returns will be processed by the local libraries also.
"New software titled Polaris has been installed in all the libraries from Kankakee to Cairo and they can now share their resources," said Brenda Funkhouser, library director for Eldorado Memorial Library. We are learning to use it now but the public will have access starting April 9."
Patrons will be able to share card catalogues from all participating libraries in the new Heartland Library System.
"Here in Eldorado we will expand our titles from two million to 9.5 million," she said. "The patrons are the beneficiaries of this change."
Ruth Miller, library director for Harrisburg District Library, said, "We have the Polaris software installed and we are doing in house training getting ready for April 9.
We will be consolidating nine library systems into three for the entire state. Chicago is one of the three. We joined together last July 1 and decided on a new vendor for the larger system. Its a Windows based program and I think it is going to be a lot easier to work with. It will save time in the library. We ask the patrons to be patient with us as we learn the system."
Betty Drake, library director at Galatia Public Library said, "Tuesday night (March 26) at our board meeting we voted to join the system. We have a three-year grace period in which we are allowed to get up to speed. I can't guess when we will be online."
Carrier Mills-Stonefort Public Library will go online April 9. Head Librarian Beth Thomason said, "If everything goes okay we will be online.”
Shawneetown Public Library is not participating. Librarian Brenda Wood said, "We are not qualified. We are not computerized. We are still old fashioned."
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