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Change is Here October 6, 2014

Update #3 - October 16, 2014

The new computer system is sending out some email notices about fines that are incorrect. Accounts that owed over $10.00 in fines received an email saying that the owed amount is over $50.00 and the file will be sent to collections. This is incorrect. Please check with your local branch to see what your fine amount is. We apologize for any concern this has caused.


Update #2 - October 16, 2014

Thank you for your patience as we transition to our new computer system. Most have the glitches have now been addressed, however some may notice unusual due dates still occuring. Please advise staff if you notice this while checking out. It has also been noticed that not everyone is receiving email notifications about holds, renewals, etc. IT is working to get this corrected. In the meantime, please log into your account to check your due dates! If you have any comments or questions or notice any other issues with the new catalogue, please email info@orl.bc.ca. Thank you.


Update #1 - October 7, 2014

There has been a small glitch during the transition to the new computer system: hold requests that are suspended were re-activated on October 6. This glitch has been resolved and most of the affected hold requests should now be suspended again. Click to log in and check your Requests to ensure that everything is correct.  If you see any problems, please contact your closest branch and staff will work on the remaining issues.  Thanks for your patience.

There are a few things to be aware of as we settle in to the new computer system, with additional improvements getting added over the next several weeks.

Your new catalogue
Your Usernames and Reading lists from the former catalogues are in the process of being transferred over to the new catalogue.

Best Sellers Lists, New Title Lists by Genre, as well as the Suggestion for Purchase form, will be added to the catalogue soon.

Your new catalogue, offers a lot of the same features of the previous catalogues and over the next several weeks, we will be adding even more great features to the new catalogue such as

  • A new Events Calendar, featuring online registration
  • Profiles of community organizations
  • Links to Book Reviews, and Read-Alike suggestions for fiction titles
  • The ability to check out digital books right from the catalogue

Get to know your new catalogue
Click here for tips on using the new catalogue, making hold requests, and renewing items online.

Okanagan Regional Library to Address Imbalances Between Communities October 2, 2014

For immediate release

The Okanagan Regional Library is working through a series of changes to restore fiscal balance between its member communities.  The ORL Board periodically conducts targeted reviews of different aspects of the library operation, and, in 2013, the board contracted the auditing firm Grant Thornton to take a look at expenditures versus revenue for each individual member community across the ORL.  The report found that spending in some communities was out of alignment with tax revenue received, and the board directed management to create a plan to address this.

CEO Stephanie Hall drafted a staffing level plan for branches where spending needed to be reduced, and has created a process where both unions and individual branches can provide input into the plan. In many cases, this input will result in modifications to the plan.  Once this work is complete, a finalized plan for each of those communities will be shared with local government, a press release issued, and then the ORL will be hoping to hear from all interested parties about their views and library service needs.

Changes in staffing level under the plan would be implemented over multiple years, as opportunities arise.  In addition to local and centralized staffing, ORL is also reviewing other spending areas, including facilities costs and centralized services.

Hall acknowledges that this is a difficult process.  "There is no doubt that these are tough questions.  Public libraries and our incredible staff are hugely valued in communities.  With over a hundred and fifty thousand library members, our service is one of the most-used  public services communities offer.  At the same time, the ORL is committed to fiscal transparency and fairness, and by moving pro-actively to align costs with revenue across communities, we’re living up to our commitments to local government, who are our major funders."

The Okanagan Regional Library stretches from Golden to Osoyoos, serving 25 member jurisdictions at 29 service locations. Membership in the Okanagan Regional Library provides access to over 750,000 items and a robust array of online and in person services.

Public interest in library offerings appears to be on the rise, with the ORL noting a 12% increase in program attendance and a 56% increase in free downloads of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines in 2013.

The original Grant Thornton ‘Financial Allocation Model Analysis”  (FAMA) report can be found at www.orl.bc.ca/about-us.

For more information, please contact Michele Rule, Communications Manager for the ORL at 250-860-4033 extension 2456, or by email at mrule@orl.bc.ca.  To reach CEO Stephanie Hall, e-mail shall@orl.bc.ca or call 250-860-4033, extension 2491.


Correction notice: the first edition of this release refered to an increase in music downloads in 2013. This was incorrect. Music downloads have been steadily decreasing to the point where the ORL is no longer offering this service. Thank you.

Okanagan Regional Library Board Highlights from September 17th, 2014 September 22, 2014

The September Board Meeting was held in Summerland, BC, to allow the board to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Summerland Branch of the ORL!

Summerland Building Committee Report

                Carol Zanon, Chair of the Summerland Building Committee, thanked her committee members for their hard work which has allowed the Summerland Building project to move forward so rapidly. The final detailed design by Urban Arts Architecture is almost complete, based on input from the community of Summerland, Summerland library staff, District of Summerland and Tango Management. The new library building will feature a community room which can be expanded when needed to accommodate larger groups, a bright, airy children’s area, a readers’ terrace and a teen corner.

Today’s ground-breaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction, with a target completion of June 2015. Board Chair Catherine Lord dug the first hole for the foundations and commented on how pleased the ORL board is to be able to provide a building that meets the community needs and showcases the importance of reading and literacy for all residents.

Budget 2015

                Lori Mindich, Chair of the Finance Committee, presented the draft budget for the board’s consideration. An overall 1.72% increase is proposed, the majority of which comes from negotiated wage increases and inflationary items, including mandatory increases to Municipal Pension Plan rates.  In 2013, the library experienced a surge in program attendance of 12.6% and an increase in reference transactions (many of which are related to help with ebooks and other devices) of 9.4%.  In response, the budget includes minor service and training improvements related to programs and staff training on dealing with people who have questions related to technology.  The board will vote on the final budget at their October meeting.

Summer Reading Club

                Summer Reading Club has wrapped up around the region. Many of the ORL board members took part in celebration ceremonies in their communities where children received medals and certificates for successfully completing their summer reading logs. A highlight of this year’s program was a visit to every branch by magician Leif David, who created a special show for the ORL highlighting the importance of reading. The magician tour was paid for with the generous support of the Friends of the Library groups across the region.

BC Library Trustee Association

                Director Lisa Cameron reported that the BCLTA, along with the BCLA, the ABCPLD and BCLC, will be present at UBCM this year in order to promote the importance of libraries in communities. A special handout will be given to UBCM attendees highlighting the statistics of library usage across the province. The director is hoping to meet with the minister responsible for libraries during UBCM.

New Integrated Library System

                CEO Stephanie Hall presented information to the board on the new Integrated Library System (ILS) which will go live on October 6th. This new system replaces the current system, which no longer serves the library’s needs. Patrons will be affected prior to the go live date as some services will be temporarily unavailable, although books will still be available for check out! Patrons will notice extended due dates on their items and are asked not to return items until after October 8th.


An Important Message from the Okanagan Regional Library About A New Computer System and Some Service Interruptions September 8, 2014

Update #2 - September 29, 2014

As the transition to a new computer system continues, these services will be unavailable from September 29 to October 5:

  • Placing holds
  • Renewing material
  • Paying for fines
  • Returning books

You can search the catalogue, but please know that it is a snapshot of what the catalogue looked like on September 28. Current information about on-order and new titles, item location, and availability, will not be updated until October 6.

You can still check out books and other items from the library and use the digital resources.


Update #1 - September 23, 2014

My Account - Access to My Account features are temporarily unavailable in the Standard Catalogue and the ORL Mobile App.

Renewals - Renewing items online is temporarily unavailable. Please contact your closest library branch or use the Telecirc service by calling 250-860-4652.


The ORL is switching over to a new computer system on October 6th, 2014.

There will be some new learning for both staff and patrons and some service interruptions during the transition – so please be patient.


This system, called Polaris, controls all aspects of the movement of items in our libraries as well as patron accounts at the library and at home. It will allow for better workflow for staff, enable the public to register for programs on-line, make searching for e-books much simpler, and allow us to connect with and promote our community partners.


The new catalogue will have many of the same features as our current catalogue, including:

  • renewing your items, placing requests,
  • keeping reading lists
  • maintaining a reading history of items you have checked out.


Your existing username, private booklists (“My Shelves” in the Enhanced Catalogue), reading history, and any saved searches will be moved to your account in the new catalogue.

We will have help guides to get you started with the new catalogue, both in branches and on our website. Library staff will also be available to answer your questions in the branch, or you can email info@orl.bc.ca.


There will be interruptions in service as we move data from the old system to the new computer system. You will still be able to take out books during the transition period!


For a two week period, from September 22 – October 5, you will not be able to place holds.

For a one week period, from September 29 – October 5, these services will be unavailable:

  • Placing holds
  • Renewing material
  • Paying for fines
  • Returning books


All book drops will be closed. Staff can accept library material returned to them in person, but are not able to check in the items.

Our online resources (ebooks, databases) should function, but interruptions may occur. Internet access will still be available.


To help our customers through this period, we will be extending our loan periods to ensure nothing will be due during our transition. We ask our customers, if at all possible, to hang onto their materials from September 29 – October 8. We will be fully operational on-line starting October 6th, with staggered re-entry at the branches.


Please be patient with us. Our goal is to serve you better.


For up-to-date information on the new system, please visit our website frequently. Please direct any questions or concerns to info@orl.bc.ca.


Thank you!

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