In his book “Crime and Punishment,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky writes, “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” When we think about change, it can cause concern and fear. But, change isn’t necessarily bad. In May, the Adams County Library System will transition to a new circulation system. This new system, called SPARK in Pennsylvania, is a component of a bigger product called Evergreen, nationally supported by a company named Equinox. SPARK has various statewide committees that offer support and troubleshooting advice; suggestions for software improvement; and an overall network of other librarians and library staff dedicated to making the best user experience possible with SPARK. We as a library system are very excited to go on this new change – there is no fear, but rather an enthusiasm for how we can better serve our community.
With a big change like this, there will be some temporary setbacks and some new ways to check out materials. At this time, our official “go live” date is Thursday, May 23. Beginning that Monday, May 20, staff will no longer be able to renew items on accounts or to place holds on materials for patrons with our current software. Check out of items is still available, but it will look a little different for a few days and may not be as smooth of a process until SPARK’s official launch. By the end of business on Friday, May 17, the current online catalog will disappear; renewing and placing holds on materials will not be available from a home computer or device. Rest assured there will be a system in place to request holds – more information will be forthcoming.
There will be a little lag time with purchasing and processing some new release materials during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we will direct patrons to the right spot to request purchases of upcoming materials. If you have requested materials on your account, your holds will transfer to SPARK. We do recommend writing down any pending requests, however. While a glitch is not expected, it is still good to be prepared.
For those who use the lists feature on the online catalog, now is the time to print out or download the lists. Lists will not migrate to SPARK, and once the migration occurs, staff will not be able to retrieve this information.
During this process, the library system has been evaluating and updating policies that affect the way materials circulate and are determined lost or damaged. The cost of a lost/damaged item will change slightly, based on the book’s purchase value. As a reminder, the library system will not accept replacement copies of an item in exchange for a monetary payment. The payment is used to purchase a new copy, as well as provide funding for the resources necessary to make the item shelf ready.
Renewal limits will also change due to SPARK. Starting May 23, any item that does not have a pending hold may be renewed up to two (2) times. This means an item could be checked out for up to nine (9) weeks, based on renewal availability.
Look for more announcements as we proceed through this process!
Submitted by Jessica Laganosky, Public Services Librarian