By Karen Butterfield

Missourian Staff Writer

The Washington Public Library has taken its first steps to joining the Missouri Evergreen Consortium, a new integrated library system (ILS).

The consortium is a group of public libraries combining catalogs on the same software. The Missouri Evergreen Consortium is bigger than the current library system, with about 20 public libraries across the state as members, said Jackie Hawes, librarian.

The city’s “go live” date is set for Jan. 1, 2014.

The library already shares resources with Scenic Regional Library, but the migration will allow resource sharing among all member libraries.

The biggest difference patrons will notice will be the interface, which affects how patrons search and request materials.

“The positive impact is that we will be able to offer patrons a lot more resources. This will impact their access to the resources and services,” Hawes said.

Hawes said there will not be a disruption to library services during the migration, which will take place in the next several months.

Staff will be trained on the new program prior to it going live for patrons.

Scenic Regional Library, which is also joining the consortium, is paying for the migration costs associated with joining the consortium.