Library Mission Statement:
The LaGrange County Library will meet the informational and educational needs of the residents of LaGrange County in a professional and courteous manner.
Technology Mission Statement:
To provide access for patrons of all ages to the increasing amount of information and educational opportunity available through electronic media and also to improve the library staff's ability to serve the public using the technology available to us.
1998-2000 The library staff visited area libraries, examining their automation systems and gathering information and advice.  Libraries visited include:
  • Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County (Angola)
  • Eckhart Public Library (Auburn)
  • Goshen Public Library
  • Middlebury Community Library
  • Nappanee Public Library
  • Peabody Public Library (Columbia City)
7/10/2000 Staff members attended the 2000 ALA Mid-Year Convention, where they were able to observe various systems and ask questions of the vendors.
A retrospective conversion price estimate was requested from OCLC RetroCon Services.
Received the estimate from OCLC and immediately dropped OCLC from consideration, due to price.
2000-2001 Information was requested from several automation vendors.  The information received was studied and compared in order to determine what type of system would be most appropriate for our library.  Vendors and systems studied include:
  • DRA - Taos
  • EOSi - GLAS
  • Galaxy - Polaris
  • Innovative - Millennium
  • MLS - Concourse
  • Sagebrush - Athena
  • Sagebrush - Winnebago Spectrum
  • SIRS - Mandarin M3
  • SIRSI - UnicornOASIS
  • TLC - Library•Solution
Staff continued to seek opinions and advice from other librarians, especially about the vendors and systems listed above.

The library's cataloger and technology coordinator attended MARC formatting workshops.

3/13/2001 TLC representatives Brad Cole and David Burns visited the library to demonstrate Library•Solution.
3/19/2001 Amanda Wisler presented an outline, "Steps to Automation," to the library board.
The list of possible vendors and systems was narrowed down to two:
  • SIRSI - UnicornOASIS
  • TLC - Library•Solution
9/26/2001 TLC representatives Brad Cole and David Burns demonstrated Library•Solution for board member Debra Shirar and several staff members.
10/5/2001 SIRSI representative Rick Branham demonstrated UnicornOASIS for board members Debra Shirar and Mary Redden, in addition to several staff members.
10/8/2001 Mary Hooley and Amanda Wisler investigated the possibility of subscribing to SIRSI automation through INCOLSA, rather than puchasing an indepedent SIRSI system.  Both concluded that while subscriptions were probably an excellent low-cost option for very small libraries, the disadvantages would far outweigh the advantages for a library as large and complex as LaGrange.
Demonstration attendees compared thoughts about the two systems and found that the unanimous opinion was in favor of TLC.  Points in TLC's favor included:
  • Ease of use
  • Intuitive interfaces
  • Flexibility
  • Customer service
  • Company stability
  • Excellent reputation
Ideas and estimates for computer connectivity at the branch libraries were requested from: 
  • MapleNet
  • Communications Wiring Specialists
  • Sprint
10/15/2001 The library board discussed automation systems and decided to invite TLC to do a presentation at the next board meeting.
10/16/2001 While visiting the Warsaw Community Public Library, staff members observed and asked questions about WCPL's wireless LAN.
11/19/2001 Brad Cole demonstrated Library•Solution at the November library board meeting.  He answered questions from the board and the public about library automation with TLC.
Ideas and estimates for computer connectivity at the branch libraries were received from: 
  • MapleNet
  • Sprint
12/14/2001 Preliminary shelflist preparation began at the main library.
12/17/2001 The library board voted to automate with TLC and begin shelflist preparation using Marcive standards.
1/7/2002 Shelflist preparation began at the main library.
3/19/2002 Shelflist preparation began at the Topeka Branch
6/24/2002 Shelflist preparation began at the Shipshewana Branch.
7/5/2002 Primary shelflist preparation completed at the Topeka Branch.
9/6/2002 Primary shelflist preparation completed at the Shipshewana Branch.
6/16/2003 Shelflist preparation began for the bookmobile.
10/6/2003 Installation of a frame relay was completed. The frame relay connects the branch libraries to the main library's computer network.  It will allow the automation system to function at the branches as well as at the main library.
3/22/2004 Shelflist preparation completed.
3/26/2004 The shelflist was shipped to Marcive for retrospective conversion; that is, conversion of cards into electronic records.
2/15/2005 Marcive notified the library that the retrospective conversion was complete and the electronic records were being transferred to TLC.
The shelflist was delivered back to the library.
2/22/2005 The barcodes arrived from Marcive.
3/3/2005 The first barcode was applied (to All Kinds of Cows by Madeline M. Dodd).
4/5/2005 The staff entered their first MARC record (Larryboy Versus the Volcano! by Doug Peterson) into the library's database.
6/13/2005 The system installation date was set for 9/6/2005 and staff training for the week of 9/12/2005.
9/1/2005 The automation hardware was delivered to the library.
9/2/2005 The public card catalogs were removed from public areas to make room for the new equipment.
The automation hardware was installed.
9/12/2005 Staff training began.
9/13/2005 The library's new online catalog went online.
9/14/2005 The library reopened, launching the automated system for the public.
9/16/2005 Staff training ended.