Major upgrades to the information systems used in the Southeast Regional Library took the forefront of information at the regional systems annual general meeting, held on Apr. 17 at the Weyburn Legion Hall.
With the Saskatchewan Information and Library Services (SILS), the entire regional library system has joined with the other regional systems around the province so patrons can use one card and access library services and books anywhere in Saskatchewan.
Delegates from the two full-service city library branches (Weyburn and Estevan) and the 44 rural library branches converged in Weyburn to hear an update on how the regional library is doing and what plans are in place for the upcoming year.
Branch supervisor James Richards presented an update on the SILS system and what it offers for patrons. As a part of the province-wide use of SILS, the collection of overdue charges for materials began on Apr. 1. Also, new branch librarian computers, monitors, barcode readers and signature pads are being installed in every branch.
Through SILS, there will be multiple methods to search the catalogue of book titles and to place holds and requests. Patrons can renew items online, and can also update their personal information online.
Most book titles will have excerpts, descriptions, author information, subject headings and patron reviews available.
When looking up information on the system, results are categorized into format, location, availability, language and publishing date, and popular choices and other reading suggestions are also offered.
In preparation for the implementation of SILS, the regional library held two branch librarian workshops, with intensive one-day small group training sessions provided to help the branch librarians learn how the system works.Also new for the regional library will be downloadable audio versions of books using a downloadable program available from OverDrive.OverDrive provides free Media player software to download so a patron can listen to audio books; all audio books can be browsed, checked out, downloaded and returned online at www.library2go.sk.ca, and can be transferred to a portable device like an MP3 player, CD or iPod.The executive committee was set at the annual meeting, with Ken Sutherland once again as the chairman, and Dianne Sander of Weyburn as vice-chairman. Representing cities are Normand Poirier of Estevan and Dianne Sander of Weyburn; towns are represented by Donna Hartley of Ogema and Karen Sinclair of Arcola; villages are represented by Ken Sutherland of Torquay; and RMs are represented by Bill Wilke of the RM of Scott, and Colleen Gallinger of the RM of Griffin, with John Naumetz of Fort San as the member-at-large. Library director Allan Johnson serves as the secretary to the committee.The Branch of the Year award this year went to Grenfell, with Estevan and Windthorst as the runners-up.