A new computer system at 18 libraries in Marion, Polk, Yamhill and Linn counties is expected to make it easier for visitors to find books and other digital materials.
The Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service has signed a 7-year agreement for $669,700 with SirsiDynix, a company in Utah that creates software and other services for libraries worldwide.
"We're very excited about it because it's going to give us so much more functionality," said John Goodyear, the executive director of Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service. "I feel like it's going to be much more manageable and the patrons will like it more."
The migration to the new computer system is scheduled to be completed in mid-December.
Visitors will be able to text search results to their phone and "like" a library book using the social networking website Facebook, similar to what users can do on the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District website. Librarians will also be able to send text messages to users when a book placed on hold is ready for pickup and the system will make it easier to work on tablets, Goodyear said.
Currently, users have to search for a book by certain categories such as keyword, title, author and subject.
But under the new catalog, they'll be able to do one search that includes all the categories.
"It's more of what you would get with a Google search where you don't have to worry about which fields to search in," Goodyear said.
The regional library services, which includes the library at Chemeketa Community College and the Salem Public Library, also won't have to rely on various vendors for other services.
For example, when visitors check out a book in a digital format called "eBooks" they're directed to another website powered by OverDrive Inc., a company that distributes these books.
Salem Public Library is also expecting to migrate their historic photographs to the new system instead of using a third party vendor.
"It's always easier when we got one vendor to deal with," Goodyear said.
The Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service has contracted with Innovative Interfaces Inc. since 2004, but the company was going to phase out the software the regional library services currently uses.
Migrating to Innovative Interfaces Inc.'s new software would cost $1.3 million for five years, Goodyear said.
"(SirsiDynix) offered us a better price than what the others did," he said. "We got all the bells and whistles that go along with the basic catalog."
Staff members and library visitors will get a chance to learn how to use the new system once it launches.
"When it's time for us to premiere the new system, we will definitely be offering training for the public," said Salem Public Library administrator B.J. Toewe.
Toewe said they're also expecting to revamp their current website.
The Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service services nearly 465,000 people, according to their website.
In Oregon, SirsiDynix provides software and services to 40 academic libraries, three school districts, 104 public libraries and 96 special libraries.