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Happening now: upgrades!

On Monday, April 11 through Wednesday, April 13, we'll be busy performing system upgrades in order to bring you new library technology and features.  Find out what's in store for the catalog and how the upgrade will affect our patrons.


We're upgrading to better serve you! During the first upgrade, set for April 11-13, we will make a set of major changes that will affect our public catalog. While the upgrade is underway, our catalog will remain online for you to use, and you'll be able to check out books normally, but some of the functions you are accustomed to won't be available.

For most of our patrons, the upgrade will be invisible. Our website -- -- will work normally; our public catalog will be searchable; and our branches, with one exception, will be open for business. (The Bailey Cove Branch Library will be closed for unrelated building maintenance.) The services that will be unavailable during the upgrade all involve making sure that our data on our old server matches the data on our new server after the upgrade.

You WILL be able to....

  • Search the catalog online
  • Renew items online
  • Check out and renew items at our branches
  • Access online databases, such as Heritage Quest
  • Place holds (through an alternate system)
  • Access our public wifi network
  • Reserve time on public computers

You will NOT be able to...

  • Place holds online directly through the catalog.
    Solution: We will have an alternate system in place to enable you to request holds, but it may take slightly longer to fill your request.
  • Make changes to your library account, such as changing your PIN.
    Solution: these functions will be available again after the upgrade is complete.

Why will Bailey Cove Branch Library be closed during the upgrade?


The Bailey Cove Branch Library will be installing RFID gates and a self-checkout system similar to the RFID systems already in place at the Main Library and Madison Public Library. The Bailey Cove Branch Library would need to close for this installation, regardless of when it happened, and it made the most sense to do this equipment upgrade in tandem with the catalog upgrade.

What branch should I use instead?

Technical details about the upgrade

Curious about what we're doing? We will be shifting our public catalog from our aging AIX-based server, located in-house in the IT Services Department at the Main Library, to a new machine, remotely-hosted in a secure data center. The new data center, one of the largest in the world, will provide improved services in terms of redundant power, network access, and server hardware, as well as a higher performance server and far faster network interfaces.

In addition to moving our data from one machine to another, we will be changing the type of database underlying our catalog system; the old catalog was based on a simple ISAM flat-file database; the new system will be based on Oracle's relational database.

All these changes will be implemented now in preparation for the follow-on upgrades that will be coming later this year; these future upgrades will provide additional, new services for you, our patrons -- stay tuned!

Monday, April 4, 2011 (All day) to Wednesday, April 13, 2011 (All day)