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County library system goes on-line, opening catalog to home computers


Starting today, you can find a book at the county library without leaving home or work.

That's a feature of the Anne Arundel County Public Library's new computer system, which lets patrons tap into the catalog through a modem.

The $1.2 million system is designed to make finding a book, magazine or any other material easier.

"If you're at the Annapolis branch, you know what is available at all 15 branches," said Andrea Lewis, library spokeswoman.

The library's 150 terminals also will allow patrons to look up a book in libraries throughout the state and across the country through a link with SAILOR, the state's on-line public information network and the Internet.

The upgrade is intended to make the library system operate more efficiently, improve checkout and return functions, and make it easier for the staff to do renewals.

Instead of going through a staff member, library users can use the computers to put books on reserve and check for fines.

"We're real excited about getting the system," said Susan Schmidt, North County area branch manager and supervisor. "It'll definitely make our lives easier, and the patrons', too."

About 80 volunteers will be on hand throughout the system to help users.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new catalog will be held Oct. 16 at the Edgewater branch.

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