Farewell XUL; Hello 3.3

Katie Greenleaf MartinEvergreenLeave a Comment

PaILS staff are hard at work on a plan and timeline for the next upgrade of SPARK’s Evergreen ILS. We are making preparations now, to be certain that it is a smooth process for our membership.

We will plan a timeline with our providers and with you so we are ready for new functionality and exciting enhancements in (likely) version 3.3.

When the upgrade happens, the XUL, aka: Evergreen’s desktop staff client, will no longer be available for use. You will delete the XUL (say goodbye) from all of your staff workstations and always use the browser based interface for actions in SPARK. Thanks to the many member libraries that have led the way and have already said farewell to the XUL and only use Webby now.

Are you currently using Webby? If not, why not? Let SPARK support know how we can help you to use the browser based interface more.

If something doesn’t work as you wish in the Web Client, please let us know. Sometimes changing a workflow is the answer and sometimes, it is a known issue that the upgrade improves. Help the SPARK community by making a list of things that you and your library still use the XUL client for. You can comment here and share it below on this blog, or contact your staff support team (Carrie and Lugene) at SPARK.

We haven’t settled on a specific date yet, but should be ready to announce the upgrade timeline at the Evergreen conference.

Katie Greenleaf MartinFarewell XUL; Hello 3.3

SPARK Welcomes Degenstein Community Library!

lugeneNew Member

On March 21, 2019 The Degenstein Community Library in Sunbury, PA, Northumberland County, went live on SPARK. We’re excited to welcome Library Director Melissa Rowse and her staff and patrons to SPARK.

lugeneSPARK Welcomes Degenstein Community Library!

Learn Reports

Katie Greenleaf MartinReports1 Comment

If you are a SPARK member and your work involves writing and running reports, please be sure you are signed up for the Reports Mailing List. The managed list-serv allows members to send questions and share answers with like minded peer libraries who also use the Reports features of the SPARK Evergreen ILS installation. If you aren’t sure who is the Reports master for you location, find out–maybe it should be YOU. Join the official SPARK Reports Listserv.

There is a Reports Town Hall online meeting scheduled for March 27, 2019 at 2p.m. This is an online meeting. All SPARK users who are interested in reports can attend. Ask questions of our Reports gurus and leaders, or share your own tips and tricks to get the results you need to understand the big data picture that library use paints. If you have specific questions you hope to have answered at this meeting, try adding a comment below.

Another place to share information or questions you want to have answered about reports is in the support forum. Check it out.

Katie Greenleaf MartinLearn Reports

PaILS Welcomes new Executive Director


The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS)  is pleased to announce the appointment of Carrie Cleary as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective March 4th, 2019. Carrie has a history of serving Pennsylvania libraries as a former District Consultant for the Capital Area Library District and as Project Manager for the Pennsylvania Public Library Broadband Project. She brings with her a strong technology background and a deep commitment to serving library patrons throughout the Commonwealth.

The PaILS Board of Directors is looking forward to working with Carrie to continue to grow SPARK and to serve Pennsylvania libraries.

Carrie Cleary – Professional Biography:

Carrie Cleary has had a long career of service to libraries.  It all started in her Iowa hometown public library where she shelved books and typed and filed cards for the paper card catalog.  She worked at Iowa State University Design Center Reading room while she pursued her BS in English.  After graduation, she began her first professional job as Library Director for a rural public library.  After three years in Mediapolis, Iowa, including completion of an emergency renovation project after arson devastated the building, Carrie moved to Boston to attend Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science part-time while she worked at Harvard Law School Library as Access Services Supervisor.  Upon completion of her MLS, she became District Consultant for the Capital Area Library District at the Dauphin County Library System.  Serving over eight years in that role, Carrie worked on many projects with all types and sizes of Pennsylvania public libraries.  Carrie then served as Project Manager for the PA Public Library Broadband Project.  To support her husband’s career, Carrie relocated to the Seattle area in 2015, working a short term job analyzing Mobile Services homebound delivery for King County Library System—where she used the Evergreen ILS—before returning to Pennsylvania last year.
Carrie experiments often with open source software and appreciates “technology as a tool,” as long as the cost isn’t too high and security and privacy is respected.  Carrie is an organic gardener and home cook.  She enjoys reading and watching science fiction and horror.  Carrie is a baseball fan for the Red Sox.  Carrie currently lives in Perry County with her husband, Michael, and her beloved dog and cat. 

lugenePaILS Welcomes new Executive Director

Welcome to the Clymer Library in Monroe County!

lugeneNew Member

Today the Clymer Library in Pocono Pines, PA (Monroe County) goes live on SPARK! The Clymer Library opened in 1906, and like many early libraries, evolved into a community institution that is essential to the vitality of the region. Clymer joins other Monroe County libraries — Smithfields Public Library, Pocono Township Public Library, Pocono Mountain Public Library, and Eastern Monroe Public Library — on SPARK.

lugeneWelcome to the Clymer Library in Monroe County!

Welcome to the Libraries of Clearfield County

lugeneNew Member

SPARK welcomes it’s first libraries for 2019! Four libraries in Clearfield County joined SPARK at the end of January. The Clearfield County Public Library, the Curwensville Public Library and the DuBois Public Library went live on SPARK on January 24, 2019. They joined another Clearfield County Library, the Joseph and Elizabeth Shaw Public Library in the borough of Clearfield, that went live with limited services on December 13, 2018. Now that all four libraries are on SPARK, they all offer the full benefits of SPARK to their patrons. We’re happy to have them, and look forward to helping them provide even more benefits to their patrons in the future.

lugeneWelcome to the Libraries of Clearfield County

Job Posting: Executive Director PaILS

Scott ThomasUncategorized


The Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) seeks a dynamic Executive Director with strong leadership and communication skills, strategic vision, and a track record of building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions. The Executive Director is the chief operating officer of PaILS, a non-profit corporation, and is charged with implementing the organization’s policies and programs, exercising administrative oversight of all the affairs and finances of the consortium, overseeing the technical operation of the Pennsylvania library open-source software consortium, known as SPARK, and developing and implementing long-term organizational and strategic goals.Currently, PaILS has two FTEs and is supported through a combination of member fees and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds provided by PA’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL).

SPARK is a comprehensive, remotely hosted, “one-price” solution for over 140libraries in Pennsylvania. The software includes circulation, cataloging,serials, and acquisitions functionality. The online library catalog for library end-users offers the enhanced functionality found in the most expensive commercial discovery layers. SPARK utilizes the Evergreen open source integrated library system (ILS). Evergreen is currently available in over 1,000 libraries, both in the US and internationally, and has an active and growing community of developers and users.  


The Executive Director provides overall leadership for PaILS and reports to a nine-member volunteer board of directors. The successful candidate will plan and manage the operations of the SPARK system to ensure system reliability and high-quality functioning for member libraries and other stakeholders. The Executive Director is also responsible for building relationships, and developing and implementing strategies for collaboration with the various PaILS stakeholders to ensure the effective operation of SPARK for Pennsylvania libraries. Key stakeholders include SPARK member libraries, the larger Evergreen open source community, key technology partners, and other library partner organizations within the Commonwealth. The new Executive Director will lead system staff in fostering an environment of collaboration, trust, and transparency that propels continual development of the SPARK system. Day-to-day administrative oversight of PaILS operations and grant writing are also key responsibilities.


 While the ideal candidate may not possess all of the qualities listed below, s/he will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities,attributes, and experiences:

  • Master’s Degree in Library Science (MLS) from an ALA-accredited institution (preferred) or equal experience and advanced education;
  • Experience in business administration or a strong foundational knowledge of the principles of business administration, financial planning, and organizational management, with a minimum of five years of experience as a proven leader and administrator including a demonstration of:
    • excellent written and verbal communication skills;
    • ability to collaborate with a board of directors to achieve an organizational mission and implementation of successful development practices;
    • ability to work with diverse stakeholders to achieve the organizational mission and goals, including proactive community relations,outreach, and advocacy;
    • administrative and supervisory experience, along with experience in the management and leadership of member committees and cross-functional teams;and
    • federal grant-writing experience.
  • Strong knowledge of and technology management experience ideally with integrated library systems or technology systems designed for information management and consortial collaboration;
  • Experience in building relationships with customers such as libraries, library organizations and consortia, state and local government officials and legislators;
  • Experience in managing RFI and RFQ processes, product evaluations,and developing service level agreements and negotiating costs with vendor partners;
  • Experience in conducting presentations and exhibits at conferences;
  • Residence in Pennsylvania or willingness to become Pennsylvania resident.  
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout Pennsylvania.

SALARY: Minimum salary of $75,000 annually and a generous benefit’s package.


Interested individuals who meet these criteria should submit a single email containing a resume, a cover letter, and three professional references in PDF format to SPARKPAJobs@gmail.com no later than 01/21/19. Further details about specific job responsibilities or questions may also be sent to the same email address. Review of applications and interviews will begin immediately and will be ongoing until the position is filled.

Scott ThomasJob Posting: Executive Director PaILS

Catasauqua Library Joins SPARK-Automated for the first time!

lugeneNew Member

PaILS is happy to announce that the Public Library of Catasauqua went live on SPARK yesterday! Catasauqua joins the other Lehigh Carbon libraries already on SPARK– Coplay Public Library, Dimmick Memorial Library (Jim Thorpe), Emmaus Public Library, Lehighton Area Memorial Library, Lower Macungie Public Library, Palmerton Area Library, Parkland Community Library, Slatington Public Library, Southern Lehigh Public Library and Whitehall Township Public Library. The Lehigh Carbon Library Cooperative (LCLC) libraries will share common patron borrowing policies and common circulation policies, giving local patrons a seamless library experience.  Catasauqua was not automated before joining SPARK, so this is the first time the public has online access to Catty’s 18,000+ items.

PaILS and SPARK is happy to play a part in helping the LCLC libraries in their vision of “Growing communities together”.


lugeneCatasauqua Library Joins SPARK-Automated for the first time!

Welcome to Lower Macungie Library!

lugeneNew Member

Today the Lower Macungie Library in Macungie, PA goes live on SPARK! The library serves Lower Macungie Township and Alburtis Borough in Lehigh County. Welcome to Kathee and Natalie and their staff and patrons.

lugeneWelcome to Lower Macungie Library!