New Developments in Polaris Release 5.1 Present Greater Opportunities for Discovery


Resource sharing, search suggestions, reporting filters, and Leap circulation requests lead major version enhancements

Emeryville, CA—Innovative Interfaces, a leading provider of library automation software that empowers libraries globally, has announced the next major version of Polaris is now available. Polaris Release 5.1 is part of the fastest release train in the history of Polaris, delivering five product releases over the course of eighteen months.

Polaris Release 5.1 introduces new developments that will present greater opportunities for staff and patron discovery, including Leap circulation enhancements, resource sharing integration, and improved search suggestions and reporting filters.

“Innovative has developed a release schedule to deliver cutting-edge features that are important to our library partners, and Polaris Release 5.1 is a great representation of the success of our new model,” said Leif Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Product at Innovative. “Discovery is critical for library staff and patrons, and providing a seamless resource sharing system and robust reporting and search capabilities will help our library partners continue to excel in their communities.”

Polaris Release 5.1 incorporates new Leap functionality that allows library staff to perform circulation activities anywhere in the library from a web application. This release continues to deliver the most requested circulation features, to refine and enhance the browser-based user experience. New capabilities include:

•The ability to display and manipulate the holds queue;

•Circulation “on-the-fly,” where minimal-level records are created in order for patrons to checkout un-cataloged items, and upon return receive full cataloging;

•Patron merge to compare two patron records side-by-side, allowing staff to choose the primary and secondary record and combine information from both;

•In-house check-in, to support the functionality offered in Polaris, through Leap on the web.

“Because Leap can be used on mobile devices, it has opened up many doors for outreach for our member libraries,” said Kelly Hock, ILS Support Specialist and Business Analyst at Central Library Consortium (OH). “Some of the schools in our communities don’t have their own library, and one has partnered with us to bring their students a ‘pop-up library.’ This has greatly eased the burden of finding transportation to the library to pick up holds for research projects, or just books to read for fun. With Leap, students now benefit from library services in their building, and staff can even create patron accounts on-the-spot, without using paper forms. It has been a great success and we look forward to finding new and creative ways to bring the library to our patrons with Leap!”

Other enhancements in Polaris Release 5.1 include the Polaris to INN-Reach integration, which enables resource sharing with other INN-Reach libraries, from within Polaris or Leap, through a direct, secure connection. Records from all participating libraries are combined into a single database, and when records are added, modified, or deleted, the local server loads the appropriate records to the catalog based on the local contribution profile. With this integration, changes are automatically and immediately reflected, without any additional effort or client software.

This release also includes a highly anticipated update to Polaris SimplyReports. Library staff can now modify saved reports by editing column and filter settings for saved Item, Patron, Patron Account, Holds List, and Hold Count reports.

Additionally, Polaris Release 5.1 includes improved “Did You Mean” search term suggestions for the PowerPAC and Children’s PAC, including keywords, phrases, and exact searches. When enabled, suggestions display only when there is a match in the local database, ensuring patrons will always retrieve results when they select the suggested term.

To learn more about Polaris, Leap, and the other products featured in Polaris Release 5.1, visit the Innovative website.

About Innovative
Innovative ( provides leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. Innovative offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of library automation products on the market today, serving academic, public, national, corporate, and special libraries, and consortia. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative has a global presence – serving thousands of libraries in 66 countries and offices worldwide.