60 Main St.
Thomaston Maine 04861
Mondays and Fridays: 11-7
Tues, Weds, Thurs: 11-5
The library has undertaken two major projects - migration to a new library management computer system, and reorganizing our collection to make it easier and more accessible for our patrons.
We will be scheduling our official staff training with Maine InfoNet and launch dates for the new computer system on February 11. We're expecting to switch over in late February or early March. Once we have those dates, things will move pretty quickly, so be on the lookout for that announcement!
What do you mean by "new computer system" - are you getting new computers?
No, not exactly. Our new computer system is a new circulation and cataloging system, and our behind-the-scenes interface is called Sierra. We will be part of the MILS (Maine InfoNet Library System), which is a shared library system specifically for Maine's small libraries, and our online catalog will also be called MILS.
So what does that mean for me?
The biggest benefit for our patrons will be the ease of requesting items through interlibrary loan. Right now, interlibrary loan items are requested through a form on our website or by asking the librarians. It's a bit clunky and there isn't a good way for us to keep you posted about the status of your request until your items arrive.
After we migrate, you'll be able to search on your own throughout the state to find books, DVDs, and other materials and request them yourself then and there! The beauty of this is you'll be able to see what items you have on hold, when they are in transit from their home library, and you'll be automatically notified through email (or even text!) when they arrive here in Thomaston. Of course, asking the librarians will still be a perfectly viable option.
Will I be able to renew items online?
Yes! Not many people are aware that you can renew items (except interlibrary loans) online with our current system because it's not easy to get to and you need a password from us - feel free to call or stop in and ask how. It will be much easier and you'll be able to renew materials from our own collection and interlibrary loans once we switch to MILS.
I heard TPL is going to start sending books out to other libraries through interlibrary loan as well as receiving them. Does that mean I'll have to wait longer to get new releases?
Yes, patrons at other libraries will soon be able to borrow our books just like we've been able to borrow theirs. However, our patrons get first priority for our books, and you'll have easier access to other libraries' materials, so we actually expect hold lists to move along more quickly than they do now. That said, if you know there's an exciting new release coming out, make sure to get your name on the hold list! We'll have instructions on how to do that soon.
What will the online catalog look like?
Check it out here: mils.maine.edu. If you have ever used Minerva or URSUS at another Maine library, MILS is another branch of the same system and is used in basically the same way.
Will my library card number change?
Yes. Sorry, folks, we know a lot of you have had the same card number for years, but the new system needs a longer barcode to identify which library is your home library. We'll be distributing new card numbers soon, so be on the lookout for an announcement about when to bring your library card in to get a new number.
Wait, what about my checkout history? I sometimes ask the librarians if I've checked out a book before, because I can't always remember if I've already read it.
Don't worry, you're not alone - most people can't remember unless they have a system or an app like Goodreads to keep track. Unfortunately, we will be losing all of our patrons' histories. However, stop by the library before we migrate and we can happily print off a list for you of everything you've checked out with us since 2007. Please note that for privacy purposes we are unable to give this list to anyone other than the person whose name is on the library account.
I have more questions.
That's ok! We're here to try to answer them. Email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in to the library and any of our librarians would be happy to help.
If you've been in to the library recently, you'll have noticed things are on the move! Apologies for the chaos, but we promise it is temporary. Thanks to the incredible efforts of Toby and Missy (lots of heavy lifting!), we're definitely making progress towards our goals to make the collection much more accessible and easier to browse than it has been.
Eventually, all of the Adult Fiction will be in what was the children's room and will now be our quiet reading room. The children's collection will be downstairs, where we will also create a fun new play area. Our mystery collection will all be in the main room, where we also plan to make a cool new teen corner to house all of our YA materials (so teens won't be tripping over toddlers and vice versa in the children's room!). Our reference collection is on the second floor in our wonderful new conference room.
Adult non-fiction and oversize books will remain downstairs. Large print, audiobooks, and DVDs will also stay where they currently are in the main room.
The following sections are now in their new homes:
Authors L through Z in adult fiction are still downstairs but will be moving soon. Pictures books, early readers, early reader series, independent readers, middle grade audiobooks, and children's DVDs are all still in the former children's room / reading room. The picture books and play area will likely be the last to move.