Patrons of the Marysville Public Library may have noticed a few upgrades to library services, both at the library and on the Web.

Patrons of the Marysville Public Library may have noticed a few upgrades to library services, both at the library and on the Web.

Last week the library rolled out its new library catalog and integrated library system, offering additional tools and functions for the library's online patrons.

According to marketing & program coordinator Denise Birkhoff, new features include tools for expanding and narrowing searches, improved notification and reading/viewing list options for library Web site users, the ability to pay fines and fees online, online new library card registration, two renewals on library items if the item has not been requested by another patron, large print, and more detailed displays.

The library will also include self-checkout stations in the near future to improve convenience for visitors of the library itself, she added.

Library director Ryan McDonnell said the improvements to the library's online capabilities are a sign of the times.

"More and more patrons are looking for resources 24-7," McDonnell said. "This change in our automated system will help meet the changing needs of our community. The enhanced search options and the ability to pay fees and fines online will improve our patrons' experience."

The new system, called Polaris, was chosen by the Central Library Consortium (CLC) for all of its eight central Ohio library systems, of which Marysville is a part. McConnell said that that while some have asked how the library can afford a new computer system amid budget cuts, the upgrade is paid for by the CLC.

"We pay membership dues, but (Polaris) is not having any impact on our budget," he said. "Belonging to a consortium significantly reduces our overhead expenses. Collaboration allows us to make the best use of our limited public funds. Our patrons have access to more materials and services than we would ever be able to provide on our own."

CLC member libraries include Marysville, the Alexandria Public Library, Fairfield County District Library, Grandview Heights Public Library, Pickaway County District Public Library, Pickerington Public Library, Plain City Public Library and Wagnalls Memorial Library.

Marysville library patrons see the library's new online functions at www.marysvillelib.org.

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