Library computer system switch will impact patrons

The Okanagan Regional Library is switching over to a new computer system next month and the shift will have impacts on library users.

A statement from the ORL said this system, called Polaris, controls all aspects of the movement of items in its library branches as well as patron accounts at the library and at home.

“It will allow for better workflow for staff, enable the public to register for programs on-line, make searching for e-books much simpler, and allow us to connect with and promote our community partners,” the statement said.

“There will be some new learning for both staff and patrons as well as some service interruptions during the transition – so please be patient.”

The new catalogue will have many of the same features as the current catalogue, including:

  1. Renewing patrons’ items, placing requests;
  2. Keeping reading lists; and
  3. Maintaining a reading history of items you have checked out.

Patrons’ existing usernames, private booklists (those are the My Shelf features in the Enhanced Catalogue), reading history, and any saved searches will be moved to their accounts in the new catalogue.

“We will have help guides to get you started with the new catalogue, both in branches and on our website, after October 6,” the statement said. “Library staff will also be available to answer your questions in the branch, or you can email”

However, there will be interruptions in service as technicians move data from the old system to the new one. Library users will still be able to take out books during the transition period but for a two-week period, from September 22 – October 5, they will not be able to place holds.

For a one-week period, from September 29 – October 5, the following services will be unavailable:

  • Placing holds;
  • Renewing material;
  • Paying for fines; and
  • Returning books.

As well, all book drops will be closed. Staff can accept library material returned to them in person, but will be unable to check in those items.

Our online resources (ebooks, databases) should function, but interruptions may occur. Internet access will still be available.

“To help our customers through this period, we will be extending our loan periods to ensure nothing will be due during our transition,” the statement said. “We ask our customers, if at all possible, to hang onto their materials from September 29 – October 8. We will be fully operational on-line starting October 6, with staggered re-entry at the branches. Please be patient with us. Our goal is to serve you better.”

For up-to-date information on the new system, please visit the ORL website at Please direct any questions or concerns to