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4/9/2014 - *Library Hours Shortened for Staff Training Days in May

Library Hours Shortened for Staff Training Days

        The Canton Public Library will open at noon on the Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the first week of May, so that the staff can train on new library management system software.

        The 30-member Library Connection network, to which Canton Library belongs, is adopting a new management system called "Sierra," which is markedly different from the current software in all aspects of running the library.  Checking in, checking out, collecting and paying fines, issuing and renewing library cards, entering data on new books and audiovisual items, using the public catalog, and more will follow brand new procedures. A total retraining of library personnel is necessary.

        The library will open at 12 noon on the following Wednesdays and Thursdays in May:  May 7 and 8.  Staff training on Sierra will take place in the morning before the library's noon opening.

       "Libraries operate on a type of software called an Integrated Library System, or ILS.  The ILS is the software with which the library functions in just about every aspect," explained Library Director Robert Simon.  "Our consortium has been using another ILS for approximately ten years now, but advances in technology and functionality have convinced us that we must bite the bullet and convert to an updated system.  The Sierra system is already used in many Connecticut public libraries, like those down along Long Island Sound, and all of them report that Sierra is an excellent system.  However, it is as different from our current ILS as learning Spanish is from learning Arabic.  We need to re-learn every single procedure we do, and we have to be ready for the system cut-over on June 2.  It's going to be a big, tough job," Simon said.

       The library's trustees and staff hope this major operational change will allow the library to provide more innovative, versatile, and efficient service to its users.  "While these closings are inconvenient, and we apologize for the disruption, we ask for the town's patience as we learn how to accomplish this upgrade," Simon said.  "Unfortunately, re-learning is harder than learning, but we believe it will be worth the aggravation in the long run."

       Please contact the library at (860) 693-5800 or visit the library's website at, for more information.