Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 11:15am

Spring will be an exciting season for the Northbrook Public Library. In addition to wrapping up construction on the new Collaboratory and training staff on the space’s equipment, the library will be rolling out a brand new online catalog and updating checkout policies.

The changes, which take effect on Tuesday, April 17, will make using the library more library more convenient for patrons, according to Executive Director Kate Hall.

“We are updating our circulation policies to tie in with our new catalog to provide patrons with the best user experience,” said Hall. “Our hope is that by streamlining the policies and making them easier for people to remember, combined with the new catalog, people will have a much easier time finding and checking out the materials they are interested in.”

The library’s current catalog will be offline between Saturday, April 14 and Monday, April 16 as the new catalog is set up. During this time, patrons will be able to check out materials, but are encouraged to:

  • Bring your library card to the library, as staff may not be able to check out materials to you or access your account

  • Call the library to confirm that an item is on the shelf

  • Place holds on items before the transition period

Due dates for some items may also be extended during the transition period.

The new online catalog will launch on Tuesday, April 17. In addition to a faster, better browsing experience, the new catalog offers automatic renewals for eligible items, which will autorenew up to 2 times. Patrons will also be able to download their reading history and pick up items at any of the 24 libraries within the Northbrook Public Library’s consortium with the new catalog.

“The new catalog will feature a cleaner look and will provide more option­­­s for people to browse our collection,” said Hall. “With over 340,000 items in our collection, it can be challenging for people to browse online, but the new catalog will help people find topics that are of interest in addition to easily finding specific titles they are looking for.”

The new checkout policies will also take effect April 17. The following updates were approved at the Board of Trustees’ January meeting:

  • Overdue fines will lower to $.10 per day for all items (excluding DVDs and Blu-rays, which remain $1.00/day)

  • Maximum fine per item will lower to $2.00

  • Patrons may now check out as many items as they choose

  • Loan periods have been extended to three weeks for almost all items. New and Lucky Day feature films can be checked out for one week.

  • Almost all items will automatically renew up to three times.

While the library will be bustling with new and exciting updates in March and April, Hall is confident that patrons’ experience will continue to be positive.

“Patrons can always expect top notch customer service from our staff when they visit or call. During the changes to the catalog, they will still receive that same level of service and will now see it extend to our new catalog,” she said. “And while we have tried to plan for every eventuality in changing to a new catalog, we appreciate patrons patience in the event that any technology hiccups do occur.”  

Patrons are encouraged to visit the library’s website for more information about these new changes, including logging into their library account, placing a hold, and paying fines, in April. The library will also hold drop-in help sessions in April for anyone wanting additional assistance with the new catalog.