Charleston Library Society Renews Commitment to Innovative

Library selects Sierra, Vital, Hosting for complete solution  

EMERYVILLE, Calif.— Innovative, a leading global provider of library automation software, today announced Charleston Library Society has selected the Sierra Integrated Library System (ILS) for the next five years along with Vital as its digital repository; Innovative is hosting both systems to offer the library a complete solution.

Charleston Library Society was founded in 1748 and is the third oldest circulating library in the United States and the oldest library in the US South. With such a robust history, it had special considerations when selecting its next ILS.

An Innovative library partner and Millennium ILS user for six years, Charleston recognized the need to expand its functionality and patron offerings with the robust Sierra system. Library leaders also took the opportunity to add Vital for digital asset management of its historic collections. Leaders also chose to host the systems with Innovative to ensure backup and high availability and reduce their risk being in a storm-prone region. Innovative was the only solution provider the library approached.

“Our library staff and patrons have become very comfortable with using our Innovative system,” Laura Mina, acquisitions librarian, explained. “We knew it was time for an upgrade and we appreciated how seamless the transition would be. With Sierra, there will be little to no training involved and no need to learn an entirely new system.”

Charleston is looking forward to the improved operational efficiency of Sierra. Sierra requires only one login, allowing staff to access cataloging and other essential functions at the same time. The Sierra web application also enables more convenient and efficient work processes via mobile devices. The library said Sierra’s reporting capabilities were another important consideration. Decision Center gives staff the enhanced ability to quickly and efficiently analyze data and identify trends for circulation, collection demand and usage, and budgeting.

Implementing Sierra will have a significant impact on the patron experience as well, according to Anna Smith, special collections librarian. “Our patrons have been very comfortable with the Millennium interface. Sierra will offer them more expansive options without disrupting the user experience they are accustomed to.”

Smith, who oversees a vast collection of carefully curated rare books and manuscripts, said the library chose Vital to more effectively manage metadata and provide a simple, seamless online search experience. The library’s archival holdings and special collections house more than 14,500 rare books and 5,000 semi-rare pamphlets. This includes correspondence from people of historical significance such as George Washington, John Marshall, Robert E. Lee, and John C. Calhoun.

The decision to host the systems gives Charleston reliability, flexibility, and peace of mind knowing that hardware failure will no longer be a risk. They will also save time and overhead by outsourcing server management and updates to Innovative. Innovative is the only library technology company that is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Technology Partner, offering global reach, scale of infrastructure, and market-leading tools and support.

“We are so pleased to partner with libraries like Charleston Library Society–organizations who truly understand and support the mission to innovate, thrive, and transform the business of today’s library,” said Innovative CEO Jim Tallman. “This is one more excellent example of how Innovative solutions are being used to fulfill staff needs and patron demands in compelling new ways.”

To learn more about SierraVital, and Hosting, 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, special libraries, and consortia. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative has a global presence—serving thousands of libraries in 66 countries and offices worldwide.

 About Innovative Hosting

An AWS Advanced Technology Partner, Innovative Cloud Hosted Services provide software, hardware, and network services through Amazon Web Services data centers across multiple regions. Cloud Hosted Services include configuration, maintenance, proactive performance monitoring, automatic software updates, immediate technical support assistance, and daily and weekly full backups.