Monday, June 29, 2009

Regional User’s Meeting

Have you attended a SirsiDynix user’s group meeting in the past? Are you aware of the annual conference and that there are user’s group meetings held regionally throughout the year? If not, you should.

I just returned from SNRG conference (pronounced synergy – not snurg), the SirsiDynix Northeastern Regional Group, which was held at The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. This is an annual meeting hosted by different sites throughout the region. Over 120 people attended the conference.

In my humble opinion, we had a great meeting. SirsiDynix presented sessions on various topics including SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3 enhancements, WebReporter, Director’s Station, Enterprise, as well as sessions dedicated to answering questions about other products and services. We at SirsiDynix were pleased to have been invited to participate, but the real meat of this meeting, and that of many of the regional meetings, was the sessions conducted by the users.

The conference planning committee solicits ideas for sessions and presenters. Presenters facilitate sharing sessions based around modules or products – often including demonstrations of practices which were locally developed. These sessions were very helpful to the attendees. There was good discussion regarding how the software is used and configured to allow site-specific objectives to be realized. Attendees could state specific issues with which they were struggling and others could jump in with suggestions and options that work for their site.

I was very impressed with the cooperative nature of these attendees. Everyone wanted to learn and share and it appeared that all would walk away with a better understanding of the potential use of their respective systems.

My thanks to the wonderful team at Penn State for their hard work in organizing and running this conference. Ann Snowman and Dace Freivalds from the hosting Penn State libraries, and the rest of the SNRG 2009 Conference Committee, are to be commended. The conference ran flawlessly. They went above and beyond and arranged a conference dinner on Monday evening, topped off with ice cream from the renowned Penn State Creamery, and the tightly knit harmonies of the Nittany Knights Barbershop Chorus.

SirsiDynix has a wonderful community of users. All of whom endeavor to provide the best service to the users of their libraries. It is wonderfully refreshing to see conference attendees serve one another with ideas and helpful tips and pointers. I was pleased to be among them.

The next time you see information about a user’s group meeting – do your best to attend. You will learn something, I will guarantee, and even more importantly – you might just help a fellow colleague.

For additional information on SirsiDynix user groups and conference schedules, visit www.uugi.org or www.codi.org.


Terry Jarnagin
VP of Client Care

Friday, June 12, 2009

SaaS Ensures a Healthy Outlook for Your Library

Recently, I strained my back and had to undergo a procedure to repair a herniated disk. During the recovery, I realized how difficult it is to perform at a basic physical level when part of my body is not operating at full capacity. With each new injury, you start to understand how important the individual parts are to your overall well-being. The back, particularly the spine and spinal cord, lie at the heart of the central nervous system, and is vital to ensuring everything in the body operates efficiently. When it goes out, everything else seems to suffer.

Just like the spine, software has now become central to the operation of any business, especially libraries. When we lose functionality, or don’t have the funding to upgrade, our processes slowly start to deteriorate—limping along until they finally give up and come to a complete stop.

Libraries are constantly challenged in their business today. Challenged to stay up-to-date with technology, manage staff training, retain highly qualified technical staff, manage vendor and sub-contractor relationships, manage their core systems, deal with upgrades and feature releases, and purchase, implement, and maintain evermore complex systems. All under budget restrictions that would strain any seasoned MBA.

SirsiDynix has a solution to relieve these strains and meet these challenges… We call it SirsiDynix SaaS, a comprehensive software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that provides end-to-end managed care for all types and sizes of libraries.

In a completely hosted environment, SirsiDynix SaaS provides cost-conscious libraries and consortia with top-tier features and functions that address all library needs --- circulation, cataloging, serials, acquisitions, OPAC, federated search, digital collection management, and virtually all other capabilities provided by today’s leading library software. And all these systems are provided via SirsiDynix world-class hosting and server management systems.

In the same way our back and spine serve as the core of our bodies, SaaS provides a powerful channel for the central nervous system of the library to quickly deploy services and tools to staff and patrons.

In the coming months, I will continue to contribute to the “At Your Service” Blog to explain how SaaS can help ensure your library systems maintain a healthy outlook.

Stay tuned…

Brett Hall
Director, Managed Client Services