Latest CARL Product Release Highlights Public Library Patrons
The Library Corporation (TLC) has just announced the latest release of the CARL suite of integrated library software, including features targeted at providing inclusive library features and pleasant patron experiences, in addition to enhancing library staff workflows and providing additional customization options to meet their libraries’ community needs. This summer release includes CARL•X version 9.6.9, CARL•Connect Staff version 1.6.5, CARL•Connect Discovery version 3.6.3, and CARL APIs version 1.9.9.
CARL customers who joined the Release Demo this month were enthusiastic. Wennie Fleming, ILS Librarian at Loudoun County Public Library, shared, “Love all of these new changes for CARL•X, CARL•Connect Staff and CARL•Connect Discovery!! TLC nailed it again.” Likewise, Lynn Hoffman, Director of Operations at Somerset County Library System of New Jersey, expressed that “These CARL•Connect Staff updates are game-changers!”
A longstanding patron frustration in the library industry has been when an item on their account is unable to be renewed because a hold has been placed on the title, even though patrons can see additional copies available on shelf. The latest CARL release addresses this concern by comparing the number of holds currently placed on a title against the number of copies available on shelf that could fulfill the outstanding holds, and allowing the renewal if the available items to holds ratio meets library-defined parameters. This comparison happens at the point of renewal via staff access, within the patron’s account, and during auto-renewal.
Another patron-focused enhancement allows libraries to customize the number of days before a patron account is blocked when an item on their account is overdue. A nuanced approach to the Fine Free movement taking place in libraries, this setting will continue to incentivize the return of materials without creating a financial impact to patrons.
Along the lines of community inclusion, a new Account field for Full Legal Name — in addition to the current first and last name fields — will allow libraries more flexibility to use a patron’s preferred name without losing the legal name.
Patrons will continue to have control over the privacy of their Loan History, now with the ability to let library staff view that history. Keeping patron privacy at the forefront of this functionality in current and previous versions, patrons who wished to view their previous loans had to opt-in to the service. This latest improvement adds another layer of opt-in security, to expand privileges for library staff to view the history, such as when troubleshooting or curating personalized reading recommendations.
These features join many more in the latest CARL product suite release. Some of these enhancements include improved lightbox check-in alerts in the web-based circulation client, new customization options for receipts, improved series discovery in the online catalog, updates to the underlying Java foundation and security attributes, and more. Current CARL customers can find the full Release Notes on CARL•Community.
To see these features for yourself, or to answer any questions you may have about the CARL product suite, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Library Corporation
TLC has operated continuously under the same ownership since 1974 and employs over 200 people dedicated to delivering enterprise software and hardware solutions to public, school, academic, and special libraries worldwide. TLC’s cumulative products are deployed in more than 1,100 organizations, representing over 5,500 locations in North America and worldwide. TLC is certified by the U.S. General Services Administration, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. TLC’s Headquarters is based in Inwood, W.Va., and has additional offices in Colorado, Minnesota, and Singapore.