A Salute to the Brave Pioneers: Scranton and Montrose Libraries Explore Resource Sharing

Scott ThomasUncategorized

Lackawanna Montrose Resource Sharing Report (pdf)


The Burden of Brave Pioneers

Many SPARK libraries think this way: we are all on SPARK. We share the same ILS, and we share cataloging. Why don’t we share our collections to the benefit of our patrons? Two libraries in SPARK, the Lackawanna County Library System in Scranton and the Susquehanna Library and Historical Society in Montrose decided to do just that and embarked on a pilot project to test resource sharing. Did it improve service to patrons? It did. Was SPARK up to the task of handling books and other materials that went from library to library? Absolutely. Did it go perfectly? No. There were challenges as there sometimes are with new endeavors. Did we learn a great deal? Absolutely. Will it serve as a foundation for future resource sharing endeavors in SPARK? Yes. For more see the report which can be downloaded via the link above.

Scott ThomasA Salute to the Brave Pioneers: Scranton and Montrose Libraries Explore Resource Sharing

Spotlight on…Milton Public Library

Scott ThomasUncategorized

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Milton Public Library in Northumberland County. Founded in 1923, it relocated in 2012 when the library purchased an old stone house and built an addition to create 11,000 square feet. The architects and builders did a beautiful job integrating the old and new to the point where I could not tell the two apart. Features include a water wall, an antique wall safe, and a gorgeous, 6 acre lawn with many cherry trees. It is definitely worth a visit if you are passing near Milton. I learn a great deal by visiting SPARK libraries and hope to visit as many as I can as soon as I can.


Scott ThomasSpotlight on…Milton Public Library

2016-2017 Migration Schedule

Scott ThomasUncategorized

SPARK is growing! Here is our Migration Schedule for the rest of 2016 and 2017:

Bellwood-Antis Public Library: 9/1/16

Remaining Blair County Libraries: 9/15/16

Pocono Mountain Public Library: 11/3/16

Eastern Monroe Public Library (Stroudsburg): 12/8/16

Bedford County Library System: 3/17

Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity: 5/17

Bangor Public Library: 6/17

Tunkhannock Public Library: 8/17

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton: 11/17

Blair County Libraries

Blair County Libraries


Scott Thomas2016-2017 Migration Schedule

Tunkhannock Public Library Joins SPARK!

Scott ThomasUncategorized

More great news! The Tunkhannock Public Library will be joining SPARK. Locating in Wyoming County, the addition of this fine library strengthens the presence of SPARK in Northeastern PA as they join their neighbors the Lackawanna County Library System and the Susquehanna County Library. This creates great possibilities for sharing and cooperaTunkhannocktion! They will be migrating in just about one year.

Scott ThomasTunkhannock Public Library Joins SPARK!

PaILS Is Sponsoring Two Development Projects

Scott ThomasUncategorized

One nice thing about open source software is that, if you don’t like the way it works, you can change it. PaILS, on behalf of its members, is sponsoring two software development projects. The first, Digital Book Plates, seeks to address the problem of how to show that an item was donated in memory or in honor of someone. Unlike the current solution, Digital Book Plates will be searchable by public and staff. We are also sponsoring a project to add the Search Patron function to Place Hold in the staff client.

Digital Book Plates

Digital Book Plates will improve on this current, unattractive solution.



Patron Search in Place Hold

The Patron Search function will be added here.

Scott ThomasPaILS Is Sponsoring Two Development Projects

SPARK Welcomes Bangor Public Library!

Scott ThomasUncategorized

SPARK extends a warm welcome to our newest member, the Bangor Public Library. Halfway between Stroudsburg and Easton, this vibrant community library further enhances the presence of SPARK in Eastern Pennsylvania. Expect more announcements about new members soon!Bangor

Scott ThomasSPARK Welcomes Bangor Public Library!

PaILS Members: Talk to Us

Scott ThomasUncategorized

PaILS is working on a Strategic Plan that will set Listeningpriorities for the next several years, and we want to hear that you have to say. Therefore, we have scheduled two sets of Focus Groups.

Monday, July 18th (Martin Library, York)

Administrators / Directors / Supervisors / Managers: 11:00AM

Circulation: 1:30PM


Tuesday, July 19th (Holiday Inn, Wilkes-Barre-East Mountain)

Administrators / Directors / Supervisors / Managers: 8:30AM

Circulation: 12:30PM

If you are interested in participating or have questions, please email me: scott.thomas@sparkpa.org

Scott ThomasPaILS Members: Talk to Us

PaILS Schedule Updated

Scott ThomasUncategorized

We all like to know what will be happening when so here is an updated schedule of events that will affect the entire consortium over the next several months. I know it doesn’t need saying, but this schedule is subject to change.


  • Julytime-machine-blog-image
    • Access PA Export
    • Authority Control Update
  • September
    • Blair County Libraries Go Live!
  • October
    • Access PA Export
    • Authority Control Update
    • Staff Permission Group Revamp
  • November
    • Pocono Mountain Public Library Go Live!
  • December
    • Eastern Monroe Public Library Go Live!
  • January
    • Upgrade to Evergreen 2.10 or 2.11
    • Access PA Export
    • Authority Control Update
  • March
    • Bedford County Libraries Go Live!



Scott ThomasPaILS Schedule Updated