The McBride Memorial Library

by | Nov 6, 2013 | Case Studies

Joining the Apollo Family: The McBride Memorial Library – Berwick, Pennsylvania

The first formal library began in Berwick, Pennsylvania in January 1916 when the Berwick Public Library Association decided that its progressive city needed a library. The library opened in July 1916 and was located in a large room inside a Civil War era Jackson Mansion. And the first librarian, Miss Jessie Wilson, was hired in May 1917 at a salary of $55 per week.

The McBride Library now provides a variety of programs and services for all age groups in study rooms, research and meeting room spaces, a computer lab, a cafe, and an outdoor garden area. The library is also initiating a new strategic planning process to seek community input on existing services, programs, and facility issues to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the community. Ms. Lisette Ormsbee has been the director since February 2012.

Prior to using Apollo, the in-library server based system the McBride Library used had become outmoded in style and functionality. Plus, it was no longer being supported. Ms. Ormsbee first read about Apollo through Marshall Breeding’s website ( – where, as of this writing, Apollo has received the highest ratings four years in a row.

She was also attracted to the fact that Apollo was strictly for public libraries and that the server(s) for the system are supported remotely by Biblionix. Because of her experience with other systems she knew that an ILS from a company that managed and supported its own servers would save the library hassle and money. Most importantly, Ms. Ormsbee knew that she didn’t want a system that included features for school libraries – features they would never use.

The migration to Apollo was incredibly easy, in part because of “the patient hand-holding by the Biblionix staff who also responded and continued to respond to our many questions.” says Ms. Ormsbee.

In the first year of using Apollo, the library observed that reserves and catalog searches increased dramatically. This reflected Apollo’s enhanced functionality, the catalog’s integration with a newly designed website, and more modern collection development practices. Also, the ability to use Apollo in conjunction with third party software (such as Overdrive and CASSIE) has been beneficial. The library now requires that all computer users have a membership card to log in to public computers, with authentication achieved through Apollo. They’ve discovered that this integration helped increase library usage as well as membership.

“The reports are fabulous and help us track usage and trends.” says Ms. Ormsbee, “We have also used them in cleaning up our inactive users and to become aware that many titles are missing.”

Ms. Ormsbee’s next project is to take advantage of the promotional tools to enhance and market the library. These are found in the Apollo document titled “Supercharge and Promote your Library”.

In conclusion Ms. Ormsbee emphasizes, “I think Apollo is among the best services we have purchased for this library. The greatest advantage to our library is to offer a multifunctional, modern, low cost online system; all without the need for expensive on-site servers and IT staff to maintain and operate them. And, of course, there’s the ultra- exceptional customer service provided by Biblionix staff!”





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