Since ancient times, mariners have named as “Polaris” the star on the tip of the handle of the “Little Dipper” because it points the direction to the North Pole. It is also the name of a software product from the company Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (www.iii.com) that we are now using at WBRPL to guide us, like the North Star, to a “pole” or goal of better service to you, our patrons.
Polaris ILS is our new Integrated Library System: www.iii.com/products/polaris-ils/. It went online two weeks ago, and we have been fine-tuning it since to offer you a more streamlined and effective service in acquiring, finding, and retrieving the books, talking books, serials, DVDs, and other resources that you request of us, your library staff. In licensing this software, WBRPL joins the technical ranks of the Chicago Public Library among other major urban library systems and several Louisiana libraries that already use Polaris. Polaris this year integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud platform. As a company, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. maintains its edge in the field of information technology. Their brochure states:
“The Polaris ILS is designed from the ground up to provide a robust and scalable software solution with powerful staff tools and an intuitive experience for patrons. Built on a Microsoft SQL server database platform with documented APIs, the Polaris ILS is open to connections: with your patrons and their social media, with third-party vendors, and with resources beyond your walls. The future of library services is open.”
The best thing about Polaris is that its “…open system architecture with APIs and cloud optimization to ensure our system is open, scalable, and extensible for the future.” This is “techie talk” but what this means to you, our patrons, is that our Network Administrator (in-house IT manager) can create customized modules and reports according to our every need, allowing us to use every means at our disposal to speed, target, and facilitate your transactions at our Library, using computers and software to bring 21st century library service to West Baton Rouge Parish. You may not see many changes on-screen, but we hope you “feel” the change as you use the services of our parish Library. Come visit us and give us the opportunity to help you find something fun and/or useful!
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
FREE computer skills classes at WBRPL! Twice a week: Tuesdays 6 – 7:30 PM; Wednesdays 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Call Lou at 225-342-7920 for more information or on the day of class before you make the trip.
We call this program COINS = CO-mputers, IN-ternet, and S-oftware. WBRPL offers our library patrons free one-on-one instruction in computer skills, especially for those who have never used a computer before. Advanced courses are available online via the website Lynda.com – free with your library card!
WBRP Library offers technology skills training because the whole world is shifting to digital format. Job applications, social services, news, medical information, auto repair information, discussions on controversial topics like global warming, environmental pollution, and modern politics are all happening online right this very minute! Those who lack access or skills for information technology risk being left out. A website run by library professionals offers more information: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/
The Library’s mission is: “…to provide the residents of West Baton Rouge Parish with access to books and other resources and services for education, information, and recreation. The library is dedicated to improving the quality of life of parish residents by providing free access to information in both traditional and electronic formats.”
To help us fulfill our mission, WBRPL asks any library patron or resident of the parish to drop in on any class to ask whatever questions you may have. There is no set syllabus or schedule of topics. Any question may be asked at any time. That way, we address the concerns and problems of you – our patrons – directly pertaining to what you need to do: learn the basics of computer operation, learn to navigate the World Wide Web, set up an email account, create documents and save or email them, set up social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and much more.
Please call us today for information: 225-342-7920, ext. 230: Luis Interiano, Adult Services Librarian, West Baton Rouge Parish Library.
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
Don’t touch that dial! … dear patrons, because today, we will look at Newsbank: “With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.”
This is an amazing resource for students doing research, for anyone seeking information, or just looking for entertainment, provided to our patrons FREE by your West Baton Rouge Parish Library. From the comfort of home or mobile phone, our library patrons can read through recent issues of 27 national news magazines, 36 Louisiana newspapers, and 2,292 newspapers and news sources from other states and national distribution: a total of 3,055 recent and high-quality news sources available for FREE with the Golden Ticket called “Your Library Card.”
1) Search is organized by twelve topics: Business & Economics, Education, Environment, Health, International Issues, Jobs and Careers, Leisure Activities, People, Politics and Government, Social Issues, Sports, and Technology.
2) Or patrons can search by the title of any of the 27 news magazines that are available for free reading with issues from the 1990s to the present for some, last few years for others.
3) 36 Louisiana newspapers date from the 2000s to the present.
4) Under “America’s News” patrons can search 2,281 state newspapers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., four US territories, and 260 national news sources.
To access Newsbank, please visit our home page: www.wbrpl.com and click Resources at top left. In the new page, click the first box labeled Newsbank. A new page will open showing “Welcome West Baton Rouge Parish Library” at top left. You can search via the four methods above. If you need more information, please call Adult Services Librarian Luis Interiano at 225-342-7920, ext. 230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Until next time! Hasta luego! This is Librarian Lou, signing off!
WORLD BOOK! A whole world enclosed in a book of many volumes. It is a vision of what information seeking was and still is – because World Book is now online.
To access all the World Book products, our patrons would have to pay hundreds of dollars per year, but the Golden Ticket called Your Library Card gets you a world of learning and fun for FREE because West Baton Rouge Parish Library provides our patrons with free access.
To find it, go to our web page: www.wbrpl.com and click the “Resources” button at top left(ish). On the next page, scroll down to find the Resource box labeled “World Book” and click it. You will jump off and land on the World Book Super Page.
Six of the resources offered are: Kids, Student, Advanced, Timeline, Discover, and Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos (Discoveries Student Encyclopedia) in Spanish.
The Student, Advanced, and Timeline resources have been redone and are truly fantastic! They bring in photos and graphics to enhance results, and searching is very easy with the ability for students to store information in their own separate (free) accounts for later research.
The new World Book E-Books resource contains several thousand ebooks in nineteen categories like Animals, Arts & Crafts, Biographies & Autobiographies, Environment, Fiction & Literature, Health, High Interest, History, Humor, Mathematics, Mysteries & Thrillers, Mythology, Non-Fiction, Science & Nature, Social Studies, Space, Transportation, Puzzles, and Graphic Non-Fiction (illustrated knowledge). There are also 1,500+ Classic Ebooks from Shakespeare to Shelley, Darwin to Dickens, and Tolstoy to Twain.
All of these resources are available to you from home, so you can research or enjoy them at any time. If you need help in learning how to navigate them, please drop into one of our weekly basic computer and internet classes – COINS – on Tuesday evenings, 6 – 7:30 PM and Wednesday mornings, 11 AM – 12:30 PM, or call to schedule 15 minutes of personal instruction. During open library hours, you can also call from home to get help by phone: 225-342-7920 ext. 230, Luis Interiano, Adult Services Librarian.
We are looking forward to hearing from you, our patrons, what you think about the usability and value of these free resources. Please call us or message via our website.
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
Don’t touch that dial! Hello out there in Library-Land! This is Librarian Lou coming to you with an update on developments at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library.
If you have recently navigated to the Library’s main website at www.wbrpl.com, you will notice a very different look. That is because the back end of the website has been totally redesigned! Our goal was to create a website that patrons will be able to use quickly and easily on all platforms: desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile. The first thing you will notice on our new web page is a less cluttered look and soft pastel colors for a very easy-on-the-eye experience.
At top left, new information has been added and the buttons made more comprehensive. “Happenings” is a new term for upcoming events on the calendar. The biggest change in this area is the addition of the “Resources” button that activates the “Resource Wizard.”
The “Resource Wizard” searches the entire website for topics, events, or resources related to whatever you type in the search box. It is a customized search tool that drills deep down through the pages to find anything related to your request so you can find what you need ASAP. We hope you will find it an easy way to find anything in our website. We welcome your comments! Please click the “Contact” button at top left to send a message.
On the top right are three new buttons: (1) The magnifying glass indicating “search” for books or other library resources in our Catalog; (2) an “age group” button since many of our events are targeted toward four basic age groups: babies & toddlers, older children, teens, adults & seniors; and (3) a “like” button for reaching our three social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Common wisdom says WYSIWYG or “What you see is what you get,” but that is not true about websites. Online, it is very important to scroll down the page with the scroll bar or the wheel on your mouse to see “what lies beneath.” On our web page, scrolling down will show more features including “Staff Stories” which contains this column or previous editions of it, our Teen Zone blog, and more. The next feature is “Happenings” on our calendar, and the page ends with a place for patrons to join our mailing list. Don’t miss this chance to stay informed about the high-quality free programs and resources offered by WBRPL. There is also a button to download this newsletter to your PC or other device. Our quarterly newsletters contain an excellent overview of the many resources we offer. Collect them all!
Please let us know what you think about our new website. Until next time, this is…