“You have got to be the most helpful company we have ever dealt with.”
Marcia Johnson, Director
Miami Public Library
Our Apollo™ automation system excels at meeting the needs of small- and medium- sized public libraries, because that's all we do. We don't deal with school libraries, academic libraries, or big-city libraries. That's a promise we've made to our customers. Apollo's breadth of patron capabilities engages patrons at a whole new level, helping you build your community. Its hosted approach removes software installation and server headaches. Apollo™ was designed within the library environment by practicing librarians and patrons. It was implemented with fresh, Internet-savvy thinking, without baggage of past software or corporate mergers.
Our customers say Apollo dramatically increases ease of use and efficiency. Your staff will be able to accomplish more with less time. Plus, there's no software to install. All that's needed is a browser.
For the FOURTH straight year, Apollo tops major survey results!
We all but eliminate the frustrations of migrating, like fighting the stranglehold that open source and proprietary automation systems have on your data (see Data Accessibility). Our free trial helps you get the butterflies out before migration because you're trying anything you like and asking questions all the way. And free on-line training gets everyone up to speed. See the Apollo information sheet.
Start an Apollo trial today — it's free and it's fun.
See Apollo in Action (top)
While you continue to operate your library uninterrupted, you can try Apollo in 3 ways:
Try out the public catalog on your PC or Mac:
The catalog home page and search results are customizable. See the looks that these customers have created:
Try a search; try a misspelling too! Note that items in green are available while items in red are not; columns are sortable; and be sure to try the popular "What's Hot".
See how you can integrate catalog content into your website:
Then whip out your smartphone or tablet and snap this QR code to try Apollo-To-Go™. It's free with your Apollo subscription:
(If you have trouble, just enter baker.biblionix.com into your mobile browser)
With no fee or commitment, we'll import any or all of your library's data into a new Apollo account so you can test drive it. Learn More (PDF) We'll help you get your data out of your existing ILS with our guides for common ILS software. Take as long as you like; your migration comfort is paramount. You don't pay anything until after you've migrated. Request your data trial now!
Let us show you a live demonstration of Apollo. Tell us you're interested and we'll be in touch.
Delightful and efficient for your staff (top)
Our customers simply rave about how much easier their jobs are. From time-savers, to error prevention, to patron joy and community building, Apollo is making a difference. And this is all with only a browser and no server or software to install. Here are a few examples:
“You guys are so good! Thanks for the best support ever!”
Red River Public Library
- Circulation Management:
- Streamlines reserves placement: You'll no longer have to handle all reserve requests. Patrons can reserve items from within their library account at home or in the library.
Streamlines reserves management: Apollo will automatically print an identifying wrapper when an item on reserve is checked in.
- Wonderfully streamlined Checkin interface: Sounds effects let you work quickly and accurately. You can easily handle damaged items with just a couple of clicks. And staff/volunteers can't confuse checking out with checking in!
- Overdue notifications: There is no need to keep track of the last time you called or mailed notices. Apollo can give you back all the time and tedium that you spend remembering notification dates and preparing postcards and letters. At a click of the mouse, Apollo will provide you a single customized PDF file ready for printing. Just stamp and stuff! That's it!
- Branch support: If you have a branch, or a couple of locations in a county library system, our integrated branch support will provide all staff and patrons with seamless visibility into the whole system. And that's all with no server required in your buildings.
- Communal catalog and virtual consortium capabilities: VersaCat™ and VersaCard™ allow your patrons to benefit from shared materials without your library surrendering its autonomy. Intrinsic to your Apollo catalog, VersaCat provides discovery capabilities for items in other libraries. VersaCard enhances Apollo's circulation capabilities to allow seamless lending of materials to patrons of other libraries. This open approach can broaden the opportunities for your patrons while keeping your library independent.
- Easily track materials with problems. The history and notes for each issue are available to your staff, whether the item is missing a part, damaged, lost, or simply not yet available for circulation. Patrons simply see 'in' or 'out', reducing confusion caused by unnecessary information.
Auto-Calling: Let Apollo make overdue and reserve calls for you (with NO on-site hardware required). Note that automated email and text messages are free for overdues, reserves, as well as for a "3-day notice before items are due" notice. For 24x7 telephone renewing and account status, there's Incoming Auto-Calling. Apollo Auto-Calling options are extra cost.
- Self-checkout: You can optionally choose to offer Express Checkout to your patrons. Your patrons will use a foolproof checkout system that will save your valuable time at your circ desk. This requires no special equipment — just a PC and a scanner. There's also Self-Signup too!
- Collection Management:
- Rapid cataloging with Integrated MARC import: When you catalog a new item, Apollo will search major libraries for free MARC, then import it at the touch of a button. Apollo matches authors, subjects, and other elements with your authority records. It's designed to minimize error-prone typing and duplication of authorities. There's no need to buy 3rd party services or cut and paste from your own searches. Our customers say they can catalog ten times as many items as their former ILS in an equivalent period.
- Reporting flexibility: Apollo provides extensive and flexible reporting capabilities. Results can be printed directly or exported to a spreadsheet. There's a powerful weeding report, an age of collection report, a deleted items report, and many more. They are designed with a great degree of flexibility so you can get the data you need.
Deletion management: When you delete an item, it's removed from your active collection. But if it's still checked out to a patron, it will remain on their account! Also, if the item is ever returned, you can simply undelete it and all the associated data is restored. This is a major advantage over today's ILS offerings, where when you delete an item, it's completely gone.
Plus there's a Batch Weed/Delete capability. Just scan the items onto a list and click the Delete button. Presto, they're all gone!
Powerful authority control: Apollo creates and uses your own authority records for cataloging, so you can easily avoid diverging references. This maintains catalog searches that are clear and complete. Authority control is an integral part of cataloging with Apollo. It's fast and difficult to make a mistake.
- Other Advantages
- Backups: With Apollo, you'll likely have better backup protection than you do now. See how we take great care of your data. So you can forget your backup/restore regimens. And note that you can get your all of data out of Apollo at any time, for free. After all, it IS your data.
- Link Family Members: Get the best of both worlds between family cards and individual cards. Fines and Problems are optionally aggregated, so when one is blocked, they're all blocked! But circulation records remain private. Also, changes to one account can easily be propagated to the other accounts.
- New Patron Sign-up: If you have many new sign-ups or have trouble accurately transcribing information from handwritten sign-up cards, Apollo's patron sign-up feature may be for you. It lets patrons enter their own data at a dedicated PC at the circulation desk. When completed, before issuing a library card, staff can conduct whatever validation process is required (drivers license, etc).
OPAC Customization: With Apollo, you get a catalog that looks like it's yours, not some generic ILS. On the catalog home page, we'll display pictures of your choice. And you can display any message on the catalog page that you want. Also, if you wish, you can modify the CSS of the catalog page, customizing the look and feel. For advanced libraries, even the HTML of the page itself can be customized.
- Newsletter mailing lists: Let Apollo manage your email newsletter mailing lists. Patrons can opt-in/opt-out of your newsletter(s) in their "My Account" page. Then Apollo will provide you with the lists of email addresses any time you need it.
- Integration with 3rd party products/services: We strive to make your catalog the one-stop shop for your patrons. For no charge, we'll link with OverDrive for e-books and audio books, as well as LibriVox and Project Gutenberg. Also free, we can connect Apollo to your PC time and print management software (this uses SIP2 if you're on the techie side).
- Known costs: Since no server is required at your site, you will not be faced with uncertain server repair and replacement costs. You subscribe to Apollo, pay a predictable, known price and your yearly operating expenses will have one fewer surprise.
“Apollo, developed by Biblionix, topped the rankings in ILS satisfaction and company satisfaction… No library using Apollo indicated consideration of moving to a new ILS…”
Marshall Breeding — Perceptions Survey
Empower Patrons as Never Before (top)
With Apollo, your patrons get a host of new, user friendly services. What's more, they'll see the identical interface at home as they will in your library. Their happiness will be your success. Think about how these exciting capabilities will be received:
- Mobile Catalog: Apollo-To-Go™ lets patrons search, reserve, renew, and more, from any smart/mobile touchscreen device, such as iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Apollo-To-Go is available to patrons of all customers as part of the normal Apollo subscription fee.
- Reserve by author: The Apollo Reserve Express™ feature allows patrons to indicate their favorite authors. When a new title by that author arrives, the patron is automatically put on the reserve list for that title.
Optional catalog enhancement: Liven up your catalog with cover/jacket images with Baker & Taylor's Content Café 2™. Available are reviews, summaries, ToCs, flap text, excerpts, and author biographies. There are over 10 million data elements providing coverage for most books and DVDs. This is an extra cost option.
- Enhance your website: there are numerous ways to help your patrons get more out of your library. You can add short cuts to various features in the catalog. You can add "crawls" of new items, booklists, or just-checked-in items. Also direct links to booklists can be used on your website and/or in your emails and promotional material.
- Database instant access: See your database utilization jump. Tell us about databases you offer to your patrons. We'll use your log-in information to automatically provide access once patrons are logged in to their library accounts. They will have one-click access to any database you tell us about. Patrons can be in your library or home or anywhere! Examples are NetLibrary, New York Times, RAND, state sponsored databases, and many more.
- Text and email due date alerts: Patrons can chose to receive notices by email or text 3 days prior to the due date. Also, overdue notices are emailed or texted for free.
- Reserve on-line: Patrons can reserve items on-line whether they are at home or in the library. They can be notified by phone or automatic email or text message (automated phone calling is available too).
- Single patron interface: No longer will patrons have to struggle with two different ways to interface with your library. What they see at home is exactly the same as what they see within your four walls. This is for everything: catalog searches to reserves to account management are all identical. Just wait until you hear the compliments.
- Self-checkout: If you elect to offer Express Checkout™, your patrons will avoid lines and feel trusted. Your community and ownership characteristics will be bolstered. Also, you can allow patrons to renew items from any browser, anywhere.
- On-line payments: Your patrons can pay for fines or lost books on-line with a credit card! Apollo uses PayPal to facilitate the payment, without requiring patrons to have a PayPal account. Patrons logging in can see their balance due and pay instantly with a few clicks.
- Patron sees what they've saved: For each patron, Apollo tracks the value of all items checked out over the calendar year. Patrons see this total amount on checkout and fine receipts as well as in any Apollo email. This feature has engendered unsolicited contributions!
No onsite server required / no support cost surprises (top)
That's right, Apollo is a fully featured automation application that runs on our powerful and secure servers. This approach is called the "hosted" approach or Software-as-a-Service. You save on hardware and maintenance costs and headaches. You won't have budgetary surprises of having to buy a new server or paying for expensive maintenance calls.
Designed by practicing librarians (top)
Born out of the frustration of being trapped with a legacy ILS system, a highly successful Texas public library thought out of the box. They had a vision of a better way to run a public library. They partnered with Biblionix and started from the ground up to design and build a completely new ILS. Driven by practicing, accomplished librarians, including the 2006 Texas Library Association Librarian of the Year, Apollo came to be. Meticulous attention to detail and continuous improvements resulted in an exceptional system for community libraries, not big-city libraries.
Smooth, Comfortable Migration (top)
“In my 20+ years in libraries, switching to Apollo is one of the smartest choices I have made.”
Mediapolis Publicy Library
Migration from your existing ILS
The free trial lets you virtually eliminate any leap of faith. You send us a copy of your data using the easy and secure upload page for only your library. We'll import it into Apollo in a day or three then we'll turn you loose on it! You can verify that we've gotten all your data copied and imported correctly. You can try everything (circulate, catalog, run reports, etc) as well as see how Apollo performs in your library. Plus, Apollo can use existing barcode labels, scanners, and printers.
So, while your library continues to operate normally, we'll work together to answer your Apollo questions and address your issues. Take your time, because your comfort comes first. If you decide against Apollo, we'll delete your data and wish you well. If you decide to go with Apollo, you and any staff/volunteers can take the free on-line, live training. We'll also get on the phone with you, one-on-one, to make sure all the setup items and polices are configured the way you want them. Then we'll pick the magic date! You'll send a fresh upload of your data after you close one day, and we'll replace all the trial data overnight. You can open the next day with Apollo! It IS that easy.
Concerned about the migration process? Read our Migration to Apollo (PDF).
Apollo is a service, offered on an annual subscription basis, just as you might pay for magazines or databases. And all features are included in the base subscription price except three: Content Cafe 2, Auto-Calling, and Branch Support. Subscriptions include all server functionality, backups, customer support, free upgrades, and access to a user forum. A contract is not required. You can cancel at any time and receive a refund of your unused subscription term. Our customers' holdings range from under 10,000 to over 140,000 items and their annual circulations range from under 10,000 to over 600,000. Pricing is quoted on an individual library basis, so contact us for details on your subscription.
System Requirements (top)
Because of our Internet delivery, the system requirements for Apollo are a breeze. We don't lock you in to particular hardware or a particular operating system. Plus, since Apollo is hosted only, it's optimized for on-line use, exhibiting excellent response times.
- A reasonably modern Web browser (eg Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox 2+).
- Non-Internet Explorer browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari (all free downloads)
- A high-speed (DSL, cable, or better) Internet connection.
- Reasonably modern hardware, on which Web browsing is not painfully slow.
- At least 1024x768 screen resolution.
Apollo will boost your library's image. Patrons will experience easier, better access and a smoother running operation. Your staff will be more productive and have more fun on the job. Your collection data will be pure and collection decisions will be extremely well informed. Designed by librarians and tested by volunteers and patrons, Apollo will make a difference at your library.
Start an Apollo trial today — it's free and it's fun.