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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:00 am

Library prepares for online upgrades

New system, site to begin Monday

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Public Library on Monday will launch a new system to augment features of library cards and update its website.

The system is called Wise, and it will require patrons to create a username and password to use a personalized My Account section of the library's website and to continue accessing the ACPL Mobile app for cellphones.

The library also will unveil a new website: www.acpl.info.

The system's launch will affect some library-related activities today and throughout the weekend, the library's Facebook page says.

Libraries will be open as usual, but patrons won't be able to place books on hold or pay bills for overdue, damaged or lost materials, either in person or online. Cardholders also will not be able to update contact information. But library staff are committed to making for a convenient transition.

“Our goal is to make this change as smooth as possible for library users and staff,” library director Greta Southard said in a letter to cardholders.

Some aspects of library patronage won't change – self-checkout, the automated phone service for renewals and library computer access will continue to require a library card and PIN.

The letter, the new website and the Allen County Public Library's Facebook page provide instructions for signing up for the new features.

Once enrolled, cardholders will be able to place holds, renew items, check due dates, manage communications preferences and access a section called “Catalog,” where users can create a profile, see materials the user has placed on hold or checked out and place notes on a “wish list” and under “personal recommendations.”

Library staff members have been working to implement the system for the last 18 months, Stephanny Smith, the library's community engagement manager, said in an email.

As Wise goes live, library staff “will be joined by staff members from the Online Computer Library Center, who will be able to assist and address any challenges that arise,” she said.

Wise is an Online Computer Library Center product. In June 2018, a press release from the center said the local library system had signed the first commitment by a U.S. public library to implement Wise.

rsalter@jg.net