A technology upgrade was supposed to keep Tacoma Public Libraries closed for three days this week, but due to “unexpected and continuing problems” with data transfers, all library branches will remain shuttered through Monday afternoon, library officials say.
The libraries have been closed since last Monday. They were originally expected to reopen Thursday.
Operating on an aging system, the city’s libraries are undergoing an update of its main software system that contains patron, catalog and purchasing records and operating systems.
Transferring the data was expected to be complicated, but early test-rounds proved successful, library director Susan Odencrantz. Regardless, Innovative Interfaces – the California-based vendor handling the project – hasn’t so far been able to successfully make the switch.
“The final upload of data experienced quite a few problems,” Odencrantz said. “It has failed twice, and we’re now on our third try, which is almost unheard of.”
The vendor is now trying yet another data upload, set to be completed early Friday. Library staff then must test the system to make sure it is properly running – a process that takes about a day.
“Hopefully, it will work,” Odencrantz said. “But if it doesn’t, we do have a fallback plan and we won’t let this go on beyond Monday.”
The fallback involves simply reverting to the library’s old software system and reopening the branches to patrons, she said.
Innovative Interfaces has been working on aspects of the system transfer since last year under a five-year, $600,000 contract, library officials said. The vendor provides software systems to thousands of libraries of all types in over 50 email@example.com