La Porte County Public Library Keeps Innovating with Move to CARL•Solution

La Porte County Public Library Keeps Innovating with Move to CARL•Solution

The Library Corporation (TLC) is pleased to announce the completed implementation of the CARLSolution integrated library system for La Porte County Public Library (LPCPL) in La Porte, Indiana. TLC completed migration services for the eight-site library earlier in the year to facilitate partnerships with their local schools, implement native self-check software, and provide sleek new searching capabilities.

Fonda Owens, Director of LPCPL, shared their history of seeking an ILS that could help with their collaboration with their public school partners, which was important in their library’s mission. Through their Libraries 360 program, the library is able to share resources with educators and students all year. This includes Libraries 360 cards, which can be used at all LPCPL locations year-round, as well as access to e-Resources available online, anytime from home. They worked their way through several different vendors and found that the collaboration piece needed in their previous ILS was not fully functional, or the price to add that feature would be astronomical.

LPCPL finally found the functionality they had been searching for with TLC and started their journey in 2019 with the LibrarySolution ILS. As their needs and focus on school and community collaboration continued to grow, they began to explore TLC’s other ILS offering, CARLSolution, preferring to stay within the TLC family. Recognizing that CARLSolution customers are innovative, forward-thinking libraries, Owens states proudly, “I keep telling people, we think big around here.”

One aspect of the library’s big plans included adding self-check modules for the school partners they work with throughout the year to handle circulation and manage collections, in addition to the other branches. Owens shares that the school partners have been very excited about Self CheckConnect. The library is equally excited about collecting additional statistics through ad hoc reporting to offer the partners, with Owens asserting, “We have all kinds of hopes and dreams and plans for that data.”

The transition has gone smoothly for staff and community alike. Owens believes staff were less intimidated from the beginning because they were already comfortable with LibrarySolution. They appreciate the tremendous support provided by TLC, from having the training sandbox (Test environment) always available, to on-site training from the implementation team, to monthly customer care calls. Owens noted a big difference with TLC, saying, “It’s really nice to be able to meet with the product owners. That never happens with other companies. It’s different here with TLC.”

Cindy Phillips, Manager of Implementation and Training for CARLSolution, commented, “The La Porte staff were great to work with. They provide excellent library services to their community and are a great new partner with CARLSolution.”

With a similar patron interface, the La Porte community did not notice much change to service, except for two new features that have been quite popular: the new PIN option and the FRBRized group title display. Customers have been “absolutely delighted” with the ability to choose a shorter, quicker option for their PIN. However, the star has really been with FRBR, as Owens exclaims, “The grouped search results aspect to the catalog is pretty magical. I think it’s the way people are accustomed to searching these days.” The multi-award winning FRBR online catalog displays a single entry for a work instead of numerous entries for each format and edition. Doing so gives library users a clear and trustworthy view of the library collection.

Not wanting to focus solely on the public side of the switch, Owens also shared that the catalogers are really happy with how their cataloging and acquisitions tasks are going after the transition. As an ITSMARC contributor, LPCPL works diligently to maintain the quality of their records since they know ITSMARC subscribers in libraries all over the world rely on their accuracy. The high-quality online copy cataloging service from TLC provides access to over 81 million records, including both bibliographic and authority records. ITSMARC recently received a platinum distinction in LibraryWorks’ ninth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs).

Part of the Northwest Indiana and Michiana regions of the Chicago metropolitan area, LPCPL serves a population of approximately 60,000. It includes over 210,000 titles and an expected 800,000 annual transactions.

View La Porte County Public Library’s catalog at mylibrary.laporte.org. For more information on the CARL product suite, please visit TLCdelivers.com or speak to a representative at sales@tlcdelivers.com.

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.

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Justin Larsen Larsen