Regional Library Contracts with Polaris for New Library Catalog

CHARLOTTE HALL, Md.—The Southern Maryland Regional Library has awarded a contract to Polaris Library Systems to provide comprehensive integrated library system (ILS) software and support to the public libraries in Southern Maryland.

“This is a momentous occasion for the regional library and our partner libraries,” said Kip Hine, President, Southern Maryland Regional Library Board of Trustees. “We are confident that the new ILS will provide the capabilities and services that our region’s library customers have come to expect and deserve.”

The contract, which was signed at the November board of trustee’s meeting, finalizes more than a year of research and exploration. The new ILS will serve the public under the name “COSMOS,” the same online catalog which is currently used by the public library systems in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s County.

“We hope to make the transition as seamless as possible for our library customers,” said Sharan Marshall, regional library director. “Though the look of the online catalog will change, most of the services our users have become accustomed to are in the new system, with a few additions, as well.”

According to Marshall, the biggest changes within the catalog will be behind-the-scenes. “This was a change the county library staff desperately wanted,” said Marshall. “The new library platform should improve the management of library resources so librarians can more efficiently and effectively serve the community.”

The 11 public library branches have an annual circulation of approximately three million items through the tri-county area. “Southern Maryland libraries provide a variety of complex and highly technical services to customers with very demanding expectations,” Marshall added. “We expect a high level of service and performance in our ILS.”

With the contract signed the library can begin the next phase, implementation, which is projected to happen in the spring.

For more information about COSMOS or the new ILS system, visit your local library or contact: Calvert Library (, 410-535-0291; Charles County Public Library (, 301-934-9001; St. Mary’s County Library (, 301-475-2846.

Source: Southern Maryland Regional Library Board of Trustees

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