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Altoona Public Library Encourages Public to Get Connected

Posted November 07, 2012 in Altoona, Community Blogs

Altoona/Iowa—Altoona Public Library announced today that its new library automation system, Polaris®, will be up and running November 15, and encouraged the public to come to the library for a personal account password or use their current PIN so they can take advantage of convenient new features the system offers.

Polaris allows patrons to access Altoona Public Library’s catalog from any Internet connection 24 hours a day, seven days a week by connecting to the library’s Web site at  This service is especially convenient for patrons who have Internet access at home or at work.  Catalog information available includes library materials such as books, CDs and DVDs.

With a password, patrons can access personal accounts and view a list of books they have checked out, materials on hold, and fines or fees owed.  A patron must come to the library to register for a password.

“We are so excited to take the next step in library automated service,” stated Kim Kietzman, director of Altoona Public Library.  “People are very busy today, and our goal is to make using library services as easy as possible for them. Along with downloadable audio and eBooks as well as virtual magazine subscriptions, the features in Polaris new to us will make it easy to connect 24/7 with the library.”

Polaris has many other features that will help patrons.  Students doing research or homework can have the system automatically format a bibliography of selected items in a format defined by the Modern Language Association, Chicago Manual of Style or American Psychological Association. Polaris will also allow patrons to access periodical and reference databases that the library subscribes to, and search other libraries’ databases. Holds will now be able to be placed as soon as the library orders materials, reducing the paperwork necessary to place holds on the most popular titles. Patrons can also opt-in to track their reading history on their account.

The Polaris interface that patrons use is Web-based.  As a result, patrons will feel comfortable using the new library system since it functions just like their computer at home or in their offices.

“Polaris represents advanced technology that our community expects to see in their library,” commented Kietzman.  “This new system will allow us to provide services that our patrons want and enhance the productivity of our staff so that library resources are available for public use faster.”

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