June 13, 2012
PrairieCat System Upgrade
The New PrairieCat Catalog
The 130 libraries that are members of the PrairieCat library consortium updated their computer system during the first week of July 2012. This update launched a new, easy to use library catalog with additional features for users. The PrairieCat catalog includes over 3.1 million library holdings and serves 340,000 patrons, including the users of the Mokena Community Public Library District.
There are many new features that we believe patrons will enjoy. In My Account in the library catalog, it will be easier to see checked out items, view holds, and renew items. Patrons will also have the ability to freeze holds (as long as they meet certain criteria) and unfreeze holds when they are ready. Users will also be able to indicate a date for when they need the hold. Patrons will be able to opt to receive their overdue and courtesy notices via phone, email, or print. Text notices will be added in the future.
Another change is that the patrons will be able to "opt-in" to save their check out history. Once you opt-in, the catalog will keep track of everything you have checked out, unless you "opt-out". If you "opt-out" for any reason, the history will be erased. Users can choose to opt back in at anytime, with the check out history beginning from the new "opt-in" date.
Two new popular features are the Availability Search and the Did you mean? response. By clicking on Availibility, users can narrow their search to only items currently on the library shelf. Did you mean? attempts to match misspelled titles or authors with possible matches.