Keystone Systems, a leading producer of library automation systems, is proud to announce that KLAS, the Keystone Library Automation System, has been installed at the Florida Regional Library, Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services as the new library automation system. The implementation of the outsourced KLAS system will allow the regional and subregional libraries in Florida to more easily serve the needs of their patrons in a cooperative fashion.
In this first outsourcing operation undertaken by Keystone, the Bureau's live database and KLAS programs reside on a server computer located in Keystone's office in Raleigh, NC. The library's staff users in Daytona Beach, FL access the system in Raleigh via the Internet. This set-up allows Keystone personnel to monitor the efficiency of the system operations, making any necessary adjustments; it also frees the Bureau from hardware and systems maintenance. The nearly instantaneous speed of most communications over Internet connections to the Sun server compares favorably with a private wide area network using a mainframe computer.
In addition to the Regional Library in Daytona Beach, the Pinellas County Talking Book Library, one of the eleven subregional libraries in Florida, has also joined the KLAS network and is serving their patrons using the KLAS system. Over the course of the next year, many of the eleven subregional talking book libraries throughout Florida will join the Pinellas County Talking Book Library in sharing this system with the Daytona Beach operation.
The Bureau's mission is to provide the reading materials and information needed by its customers, who use alternate media including audio tape, large print, and Braille. To efficiently and cost-effectively provide these services, the library needed a new automation system that could provide more advanced operation features than its previous system.
"Our conversion to KLAS went smoothly. In a matter of two weeks, we went from a unique computer system designed in-house during the early 1970s to a modern library system designed to meet our library's needs," stated Assistant Director Michael Gunde. "Since the conversion, the Keystone Systems staff have continued to work effectively with us to resolve system issues as they have come up."
KLAS provides statewide access to the library's collection of 2.2 million copies of over 57,000 titles for its 43,000 patrons, with patrons receiving an average of 50 books annually. The library staff uses the automatic searches and patron service options in KLAS to serve their patrons more efficiently, leaving time for personalized service as needed. "Most importantly, our staff has found KLAS to be an efficient and flexible automation system for servicing our talking book customers statewide," stated Mr. Gunde.
"Loans are up dramatically, with our October circulation more than 80,000 items," noted the Chief of the Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services, Donald John Weber. "Another major benefit we have already noticed is a huge decline in paperwork between the two libraries [Pinellas and Daytona Beach]. Since we are sharing the same customer and bibliographic data, file maintenance is done on a uniform basis and filling out Reader Adjustment Forms to keep separate files at both libraries is now largely unnecessary."