We’re changing library software — what that means for you

Photo by Joshua Sorenson on Unsplash

The days of libraries storing their data in card catalogs are long gone. Libraries now use specialized computer software systems designed for managing collection and patron information. Twenty years ago we made the change to digital records, and we’ve used variants of the same system, from the same company, ever since — until now.

At the end of January, we’ll be migrating from the system we’ve used for over a decade to a new product by a different company. This new system brings a variety of great features and will make managing the collection much easier for us, as well as make finding and using items much easier for you. However, getting our data from one company to another has some quirks, and not all of the information we currently save will transfer over.

Make sure to read below so you don’t lose anything important in this change.

Checkout History

Our current system supports a feature called Checkout History. This lets you track every item you check out and view them as a list when logged into our online collection website1. Our new system supports this as well, but the checkout history you’ve saved up to this point will not transfer. In order to save the list of items you’ve checked out from us, you will need to print or save the list digitally. We are happy to do this for you free of charge at either library, but if you want to tackle it yourself, here’s how.

1. Visit our online collection website and sign in.

Visit our old collection website and log in by clicking the link to the right of our logo. You will need to sign in with your library card number, found below the barcode, and your 6-digit PIN. Do not put spaces in your card number.

2. Visit your My Account page.

Once signed in, click My Account, found next to the Log In text. Click the tab labeled Checkouts, then click the blue bar titled Library Checkouts. This should collapse this section.

3. Select your Checkout History.

Below the Library Checkouts section, you should see one titled Checkout History. Click it to expand it. Select the text here by scrolling to the very bottom of the list and putting your mouse cursor right after the last date for the last item in the list. The cursor should turn into the I shape that shows it’s by text. Left-click and drag while slowly moving your mouse upwards. This should highlight the text as you go. As your mouse moves upward, the web page should scroll with it, allowing you to select all the way to the top of your list. Only let go once you’ve stopped your cursor right after the word Title above your first listed item. Here’s a video showing this in action (the black circle shows when the mouse was left-clicked and held):

4. Print your Checkout History.

Once the text is selected, right click anywhere in that selected text and choose Print from the dropdown menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P (CMD+P if using a Mac). You should then get a print preview showing what your printed list will look like, like so:

From here, you can print your list directly or save it as a PDF by choosing the appropriate option showed by your browser (it’s different depending on which you use).

My Lists

Our current system supports making book lists when signed into our collection website. These book lists will not transfer to our new system. You will also need to print or digitally save these lists if you want to keep them, which we are also happy to do for you at either library. To do it yourself:

1. View your lists in the My Lists section.

Next to My Account at the top of the website you should see My Lists. Click this and you’ll be taken to any lists you may have created over the years. If you see any you want to save, read on. If not, skip the rest of the steps and head to the last section of the post.

2. Print your list(s).

Select the list you want to print, then tick the small box next to the dropdown menu in the light blue section above the list of books. This will select all of the books in the list. Then click the dropdown and choose Print.

How much time do I have?

Our final transfer will take 5 days and will start bright and early Friday, February 1. Effective on this date, our old system will be in “Read Only” mode, meaning you won’t be able to make any changes until our new system is live. This makes sure nothing gets dropped between the old and new systems. We will still have the old system available through February, which means any printing or saving of these lists must be completed on or before Thursday, February 28. After that we’ll no longer have access to the old system, including its data.

We will also be “offline” for 5 days — February 1-5 — which means you won’t be able to log into your account online. We can still check in and out, so feel free to still stop by to borrow items, but we won’t be able to search the collection, pay fines, place or make available any Holds, or do most other tasks related to borrowing from our collection. Note: you will not be able to renew items online during these 5 days, so please call the library to renew any checkouts.

This means we’ll officially be on the new system Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

Why the change?

We had a small committee that met for two years to weigh the pros and cons of making this switch, and we think it will be worth the moving pains. As the final days approach, we’ll be sharing some of the great features and possibilities this new system will bring to you, our patrons, as well as what it will allow us to do when managing and updating our collection. Stay tuned, and don’t hesitate to call  260-356-0824 or email  ask@hctpl.info us, as well as comment below, with any questions or concerns you may have.

Photo by Joshua Sorenson on Unsplash


  1. This feature is disabled by default. You will only have a checkout history saved if you turned it on at some point.

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