Library Computers Get Improvements

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The dreaded phrase, "I'm sorry, our system is down" will soon be a thing of the past at the Payson Public Library.

Since March, when the library automation system was installed, the staff and patrons could never be sure they would be able gain access.

"Sometimes it was up, sometimes it was down. Basically it was not able to handle the volume (of use)," Library Director Terry Morris said.

She said Gila County Library District Director Jacque Griffin has been negotiating with Qwest to get more reliable service for the system.

At the Aug. 31 meeting of the board of supervisors, a contract with the phone company was approved. The term of the agreement is for 36 months at a charge of $432 per month.

"It's absolutely worth the charge," Morris said. "When the system goes down, we're dead in the water. We can't renew a book, find a book or even check one out. It's very frustrating for our patrons."

She said the new line should be hooked up by Sept. 10.

The library automation system allows patrons to find the books they want from throughout the county.

Eventually it will be possible to access the system from home computers, allowing patrons to request a book, renew the check out time on a book they're already reading and reserve books they would like to borrow in the future.

"With the new line, we will be able to provide a consistent level of service to the community," Morris said.

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