Nearly 90 people attended the fourth annual Polaris Users Group conference, which was a combination of great sessions, time to talk with other PUG members, Polaris Library Systems (PLS) staff and the opportunity to listen to a dynamic keynote speaker. The Program Committee worked for many months and the outstanding conference program was the result of their efforts, the many presenters, and the PLS staff.
This year, the Program Committee designated Thursday as the day for the PLS to give presentations, lead focus groups/roundtables and show us interesting essays they’re working on after Release 3.2! A highlight for PUG members were short presentations by 3 software developers, Jeff, Michael and Brian, who showed us some exciting developments that we hope well be seeing soon in a Polaris release. Thursday night was the Vendor Reception where vendors and attendees had an opportunity to talk and exchange ideas, suggestions and comments about their products as well as a chance to share some wonderful food.
The Program Committee organized the Friday and Saturday sessions using three tracks: Administrator’s, Workflow and Technology. On Friday, we were challenged by the keynote speaker, Diane Mayo of Information Partners, Inc. to examine our assumptions about providing service — do we think in terms of Discovery, Access and Delivery? Our patrons/users/customers are “information buyers” and do we look at how they want to receive their information, ex. instant messaging. RSS feeds, etc. Diane also led two afternoon sessions: Technology Planning and Ask the Consultant. Other Friday sessions were led by PUG members who talked about: cash management systems, reports, calendar and booklists from third party vendors, bandwidth management and network security. Instead of the “Tips and Tricks” sessions this year we had “Been There Done That” — a chance to share dilemmas and solutions using all of the Polaris subsystems. Friday night was the President’s Reception where PLS hosted an evening of fun — there was delicious food, a game show “Library Feud” (with attendees as the contestants) and time to talk and relax.
Saturday’s sessions included a two session presentation by David Bendekovic (PLS) on Leaders in Libraries, Crystal Reports, SQL Report Services, Outreach Services and Keys to Successful Upgrades. Election results this year were: Chair: Sylvia Lee (SOLIS), Treasurer: Diane Courbis (Lower Merion Library System), Member at Large: Steve Campion (Pierce County Library System).