Case Study: The Liberty Hill Public Library

Liberty Hill Public Library

Joining the Apollo Family: The Liberty Hill Public Library – Liberty Hill, Texas

THE LIBRARY:
The dream of a Liberty Hill library began in 1999 with a volunteer board. The whole community quickly became involved with many events: a city wide garage sale, a dinner and theatre presentation, book sales, auctions, pictures with Santa, and a Softball game including the City Council and the School Board. While all this was drawing the community together, books were being donated by the thousands. An automation system was selected and implemented. In September 2001 construction of a new building began and in October 2003 the Liberty Hill Public Library District was approved with a 65% vote of the community. The library currently serves over 9,000 people with a collection of 19,000 items and an annual circulation of over 10,000.

The Liberty Hill Public Library – Another Apollo Family Success Story

AUTOMATION:
When director Lynda McClain arrived March of 2006, she found a vibrant library and community. She also observed the pains that her cataloger was going through with the existing automation system. She also found that obtaining the data she needed for her regular reporting was a “pain in the you-know-what”. The incumbent automation system was also limited in its patron capabilities. It was designed for schools, not public libraries.

ApproachA NEW APPROACH:
When Ms. McClain saw Apollo in July 2006, she knew she had to investigate. Biblionix’s devotion to small- and medium-sized public libraries was a stance she had not seen from any other automation vendor. As she and her staff saw more and more, they could tell that Apollo would reduce their tedium and make their days more efficient and enjoyable. They decided to proceed with the free trial. In August of 2006, Biblionix helped them export their data from the existing automation system. Biblionix created an Apollo account with the library’s data and the testing began. All the while, the library continued functioning normally.

RIGOROUS TESTING:
So without installing any software and without using a server in the library, Ms. McClain and her staff began poking and prodding each facet of Apollo. They looked at reports, circulation, collection management, patron features, etc., etc. They had not paid a cent and had committed to nothing.

Liberty HillMIGRATION COMFORT:
Their comfort with Apollo grew into excitement as the testing and training continued. It would mean less tedium, more efficient operation, engaged patrons, and time to concentrate on their real tasks rather than working around an inadequate automation system. In October of 2006 the Liberty Hill Public Library District board approved the adoption of Apollo. After closing on the day of the migration, Ms. McClain performed the same export and upload tasks she had done before. Overnight, Biblionix imported the data and replaced the trial data in the library’s Apollo account. The next day, when the library was normally closed, the staff tested each function again and found that all was in order. The next day, the Liberty Hill Public Library opened its doors using Apollo without missing a beat. It was a very comfortable and smooth process.

SUCCESS AND JOY:
With Apollo in place, the benefits quickly accrued. As Ms. McClain put it, “here is just the tip of the iceberg of what we love about Apollo”:

  • Cataloging time was cut by more than half. And it was easier to do a few items at a time.
  • Overdues dropped by two-thirds.
  • Patrons noticed how smooth checkouts became and loved the ease of use of the catalog. They also responded with thanks about email notices.
  • Circulation increased due to better patron accessibility and better reserves management.
  • Checkout duration could be adjusted based on the type of item.
  • The flexibility of the Fund Codes was exciting.
  • The Liberty Hill Public Library continues to enjoy Apollo and in the words of one staff member, “Thanks for all you do to make our lives easier.”

    Download the Liberty Hill Public Library case study (pdf)

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