All about the ALC
You have questions, we have answers!
For more information regarding this exciting move to a statewide library catalog system, please read the fact sheet below.
Still have questions? Reach out to us via the contact form on the left column. We look forward to seeing you at the library.
- What is the ALC?
ALC is an acronym for the Alaska Library Catalog. FNSB Public Libraries will be joining this consortium, or group of Alaskan libraries, and providing Fairbanks library users with a combined catalog and the ability to request materials from all over the state.
- How big is the ALC?
After we join, this consortium catalog will include items from 92% of libraries in Alaska. There will be over 80 libraries included in this joint catalog.
- What is the benefit to joining?
From the user standpoint, this new catalog provides some very cool advantages over our current set up. For one, currently, FNSB Public Libraries have about 300,000 items for users to choose from. When we join the consortium, users will have access to over 6 million items, and select from materials they might not have known about otherwise because they will show up in a search. Another benefit is that users can place holds themselves, saving them the trouble of having to fill out an interlibrary loan form at Reference.
- Why now?
FNSB Public Libraries received an invitation to join in late 2017 that would coincide with UAF’s migration to the consortium. Since FNSB libraries were in an existing consortium agreement with UAF for its Integrated Library System that was ending June 30, 2018, it made sense to move to the ALC with UAF in order to continue receiving the cost saving benefits of belonging to a consortium.
- When does this start?
Go live date is set for May 8, but the buildings will be closed, so go live for patrons is May 9.
- What does the new catalog look like?
The new catalog is very similar in appearance and function to our current catalog. Both of them use the ‘Enterprise’ interface which was created by SirsiDynix. From the users’ perspective, most of the functionality is similar, however materials from all library members in the consortium will be displayed in search results.
- How do I use the new catalog?
The new catalog is very similar to our current catalog, but it has the ability to search in all member libraries’ catalogs at the same time if the user chooses to do so. When searching, if an item is found to be in a library other than Noel Wien or North Pole Branch, the user will have the option to place a hold on the item. Placing a hold will notify the owning library to send it here to Fairbanks for pick-up. The requester will be notified when the item is waiting for them.
- This sounds like interlibrary loan – is it the same?
There are similarities from the users’ viewpoint between interlibrary loans and holds. In both cases an item is requested and the user notified when it is ready to be picked up. The difference is that library users will be able to place the holds themselves within the catalog for items located at ALC libraries instead of having to fill out a form at Reference.
- If the consortium doesn’t have the item, can I still place an interlibrary loan?
Yes, this process will remain the same.
- Are there overdue fines?
Other libraries in the consortium do charge overdue fines, however, the FNSB public libraries will continue to follow its current policy of not charging overdue fines and, therefore, will not collect overdue fines. We will continue to bill for Lost or Damaged Items.
Please note, that a patron’s library card can be blocked by any library in the consortium. Therefore, if a patron owes fines or fees to another library and have not paid, their card may become barred from checking out any library materials until their record is cleared at the other library.
- How many holds can I place?
There is a system limit of 10 holds.
- What if I am travelling in the state?
As a member of a consortium library FNSB Library card holders will be able to borrow materials from any other consortium library in Alaska. Users will be able to borrow and return items in any of the affiliated libraries.
- How long will it take for materials to arrive?
Times will vary according to availability and location of origin in Alaska.
- How long can I keep the item?
Check-out periods and due dates are set by the home library, which may differ from FNSB libraries’ loan periods.
- What happens after I place an outside item on hold?
The request goes directly to the library holding the item. They will pull if from their shelf, process and package it, and then send it via post to Noel Wien Library. Once it is received locally the item(s) will be processed and placed on our hold shelf or routed to North Pole Branch as specified at the time the hold is placed, and then the patron will be notified that the item is ready for pickup.
- This sounds pretty cool, how do I return the item?
The borrowed items can be returned at Noel Wien or North Pole Branch and we will get them back to the owning library.
- How do I know the item made it safely back?
Check-out and check-in is done right here, so you are responsible for the item(s) from the time you check them out here to the time you return them locally.
Note: Remember that you can see the items you have checked out and on hold in My Account.
ALC Member Libraries
Alaska State Library
Anchorage Public Library
Big Lake Public Library
Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Libraries
Haines Borough Public Library
Juneau Public Libraries
Kenai Community Library
Palmer Public Library
Petersburg Public Library
Sealaska Heritage Institute
Seward Community Library & Museum
Sitka Public Library
Soldotna Public Library
Sutton Public Library
Talkeetna Public Library
Trapper Creek Public Library
UAA/APU Consortium Library
UAA Homer Library
UAA Kenai Library
UAA Kodiak Library
UAA Mat-Su Library
UAF Rasmuson Library
UAS Egan Library
Valdez Consortium Library
Wasilla Public Library
Willow Public Library