Located in Buchanan, Michigan – a town popularly known as “Redbud City” because of the many Redbud trees that have historically lined its streets – the Buchanan District Library serves the community guided by motto “Big city resources, small town service”. The library, which became automated for the first time in 2003, currently services a population of nearly 10,000 residents with a collection around 41,000 materials and annual circulations of almost 58,000. Ms. Kate Scheid has been the library director since 2008.
Ms. Scheid decided to look for a new automation system when the prior ILS was no longer being supported or updated. And as a growing library they were looking to add remote capabilities and services for their members instead of being stuck in an ILS that wasn’t progressing. After receiving a postcard from Biblionix she did some online research into Apollo, and was attracted to the affordability and features of the system.
A NEW APPROACH:
After migration, “We loved Apollo right away!” exclaimed Ms. Schied. It had all the features the library was looking for without any a public library, didn’t need or want.
Apollo also saved the library money. They first noted a savings when they were able to get rid of their server and the cost of maintaining it. And then, because MARC records are available through Apollo, they saved money by no longer needing to purchase the records. And finally, Ms. Schied explained, “The overdue module and all the Apollo-automated calls were like adding an extra staff person”.
“The staff finds circulation and renewals easy and accommodating.” And since migrating to Apollo, “productivity has increased greatly and allowed us more time to work with patrons and develop marketing.” said Ms. Scheid.
The library members frequently remark on how easy it is to use the electronic resources via the links available on the Apollo Public Catalog. And staff often hear from the members about how grateful they are to be able to renew items online. “One mom with eight kids said she was happy to review her checkouts before making her weekly trip to the library. She could make sure she had all the items she needed to return and could renew the ones she intended to keep.”
“Big city resources, small town service”
“The features Apollo offers are great! We never would have been able to sign on with Paypal (allowing members can pay fines through the Public Catalog) or Unique Management collections, but Apollo had such easy interfaces with both already in place.” Ms. Scheid concludes, “Every librarian I meet I encourage to look at Apollo as an affordable product that gives you (a public library) everything you need and then some.”