Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Downside of Opting Out of a Shared Public-Access Library Catalog
Finkelstein Memorial Library's decision limits cardholders. (LoHud.com, 2/9/2011)
Excerpt: By opting out, Finkelstein Memorial Library users have lost easy electronic access to the resources of 46 libraries. Finkelstein Memorial cardholders are still welcome to physically walk in and borrow materials on the other libraries' shelves. Ease of placing holds electronically and real time check-ins are benefits for paying dues to be a member of ANSER. The director and trustees of Finkelstein Library made the decision to leave ANSER in spite of inconveniences for their cardholders.
During the migration process, which took more than a year, ANSER members shared with Finkelstein Memorial Library's team the challenges they would face as an independent system, but supported their decision and worked with them to make it as seamless as possible. The two systems are completely different and even with a weekly transfer of new cardholder data, "technological barriers" make the two systems incompatible.
Nothing is being done to "punish" Finkelstein Memorial Library cardholders for their administration's decision to withdraw from the ANSER network. Finkelstein Memorial Library is no longer entitled to receive ANSER membership benefits.