The Joys of Library Automation

Today, the systems administrator, the tech processing manager and I took a trip to the Van Buren District Library to talk to them about their current automation software which is Library.solution by TLC. We are currently using DYNIX, and are planning to migrate in the next six months. We have narrowed our choices to either TLC or Horizon, which is the next generation of DYNIX software. This is a BIG decision! We are not talking about insignificant amounts of money here! The folks we talked to up at Van Buren were very helpful. They told us about some of the shortcomings of the TLC system.

Chief among them are:

  1. No true keyword searching
  2. inability to place holds on items with no holdings (ordered but not received items)
  3. poor branch transfer functionality (items automatically are put in “transit” when they are requested. This happens whether or not someone is actually able to find the book and put it in a box!)

On the other hand, TLC has great customer support, and will write custom reports at no extra charge.

At this point, my personal feeling is that Horizon may be the better choice, however:

  1. Their support is expensive
  2. Their financial stability is somewhat unknown (they have changed hands several times in the past few years.)
  3. I think that the systems administrator is leaning towards TLC because of their excellent customer service
  4. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

About ashkev

The Fiddling Librarian 3.0 is Kevin Smith’s personal weblog. Kevin is a recent graduate with an MLS from IUPUI. Kevin is the Assistant Director of the Cass District Library which is in Cass County Michigan.
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