DALLAS, January 20, 2012 — Polaris Library Systems, a pioneer in the development of library technology solutions for public, private and academic libraries, is exhibiting at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Booth number 1323 features a new design, manned with some new staff members, and offers attendees a sneak peek at the latest version of the Polaris ILS, version 4.1. In addition, the company is offering visitors a walk-through of its new customer extranet, PolarisTown.
Polaris has redesigned its ILS software to add more flexibility, more features and enhanced functionality. Version 4.1, currently in beta testing and set to officially launch at the end of the first quarter 2012, includes the Polaris Discovery Suite, a flexible, customizable user interface with a single search box to allow easy access to owed and licensed information resources. The Polaris PowerPAC interface now features content carousels, recently viewed titles and the ability to also feature new titles. Integrated federated search capability has been added, with a new Search Status screen that displays the selected databases and retrieval results in real time. What's more, Polaris has developed a unique way for libraries and their patrons to connect with local organizations and events through the library catalog, with a new Community Profiles module. This allows for the exchange of content between community organizations and the library, facilitating cross promotion and offering patrons additional services and support.
"With this latest version of Polaris software, libraries have the opportunity to connect with their communities like never before," said Steven Nielsen, vice president of product management. "Features such as a customizable user interface, an integrated search function and the ability to exchange content with other organizations help position the library as a central repository for information for the community at large, ensuring that the library remains relevant and continues to provide value to its patrons."
Visitors can take a preliminary tour of Polaris 4.1 at its booth, #1323 at ALA Midwinter.
Polaris' continued growth in 2011 created the need for additional staff, several of whom will be in the booth during ALA Midwinter.
This Midwinter show will be Steven Nielsen's first as a Polaris employee. Nielsen joined Polaris in September of 2011 as vice president of product management, and works closely with product development and marketing on cutting-edge, customer-influenced proprietary and third-party solutions. He has a long history in the library community, through previous positions in both academic and public libraries, including his most recent as former library director for Bettendorf Iowa Public Library.
Scott McCausland joined Polaris in February 2011 as director of library development, but his leadership skills and talents earned him a promotion to vice president of sales and marketing in September 2011. He manages both the sales and marketing teams, facilitating strategic planning and integrating sales and marketing activities. McCausland has over 12 years of experience in the library industry, including previous positions with Dynix/SirsiDynix.
Joan York fills a new position at Polaris, as an inside sales representative. In this new role, York is responsible for new sales, contacts with prospects and customers and provides additional support to the outside sales staff. She has extensive library experience, through previous positions with EnvisionWare and SirsiDynix.
Christina Sorbello joined Polaris in September 2011 as manager of marketing. She is responsible for articulating and communicating the company's brand and its products and services both internally and externally. Sorbello brings to Polaris more than 13 years of marketing communications experience, having previously worked with both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies worldwide.
ALA Midwinter attendees can meet these new staff members at the Polaris booth, #1323.
Enhanced Customer Support
The Polaris customer support team made tremendous strides in 2011, accomplishing several major customer milestones, including software upgrades allowing for better, more consistent service. In 2011, customer support was able to upgrade a significant number of customers to the latest version of Polaris software. Currently, 74 percent of Polaris customers are running the latest version of its software.
In its efforts to continually improve response times and service quality, Polaris restructured its customer support team in 2011 to add new staff and realign job responsibilities. The company hired three new site managers, two new support engineers, added a support engineer supervisor and also hired a new manager of customer support. Kellie Conner, who was previously part of Polaris customer support, has moved to product development but into a newly formed position, acting as a customer liaison between both functions.
"While we have had the privilege of being rated number one in customer satisfaction for the last four years, in no way do we accept that as a given. We work hard to earn that distinction each and every day," said Jodi Bellinger, executive director of customer operations. "We listen to our libraries, we work with them to solve problems, and when there is room for improvement, we make every effort to implement changes to help them achieve their goals. These latest enhancements will help us continue to provide world-class customer support and ensure our customers' continued success."
About Polaris Library Systems
Polaris Library Systems' mission is to help libraries better serve their communities. Through its work with almost 2,000 libraries across the U.S. and Canada, Polaris has come to understand the challenges and opportunities that librarians and their users face. The company designs products and services to help public, private and academic libraries surmount these challenges and lead productive, bright futures. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com.