Wednesday, April 17, 2024
32.0°F

Library offers updates on internet, director

| November 14, 2023 1:00 AM

In the interest of clarity and ensuring accurate public information about the library and its services, we felt responding to Mr. Rossmiller’s letter of Nov. 7 was important.

First, the library performed a substantial network upgrade in September. Our very knowledgeable and experienced IT director made every attempt to ensure minimal temporary loss of library connectivity and services. He and his team worked overnight to avoid major disruptions for patrons and staff. However, it’s virtually impossible to upgrade a complex system like ours without some minor glitches and inconveniences. Also, during this time, the library was establishing a new web host, and a local IT cable was disconnected, cutting internet services to multiple area users, including the library. The network and internet issues were handled as expeditiously as possible.

After the upgrade, all library services were quickly restored, and the overwhelming majority of library patrons had no difficulty accessing library Wi-Fi. The library did not receive dozens of patron complaints — only questions. Given how quickly computers and especially software become obsolete, it’s very challenging to accommodate those patrons with older equipment and operating systems. We do our best to anticipate patron issues before they arise, but that’s not always possible — especially during a major system upgrade combined with circumstances beyond our control.

Although we have a highly qualified internal IT department, we do maintain relationships with several external service providers, and we expect this fiscal year's budget to cover all necessary IT funding. Our goal is to provide optimal service to patrons. Unfortunately, growing pains are not uncommon when upgrading services. We wanted to avoid having to close the library during the upgrade event — which would have been necessary if our IT team had not been willing to complete the majority of the work overnight while the library was closed.

While it is true that the former library director resigned, principal librarian Vanessa Velez has been appointed interim director. The Board of Trustees will be recruiting for a permanent director early in 2024. In the meantime, library services are readily available and under appropriate management. 


AMY FLINT

Sandpoint

EBCLD board chair

VANESSA VELEZ

Sandpoint

EBCLD interim director