New Orleans Public Library Secures Disaster Plan with Hosted Polaris ILS

EMERYVILLE, Calif.— Innovative, a leading global provider of library automation software, today announced New Orleans Public Library has selected the Polaris Integrated Library System (ILS) as a hosted solution.

As the flagship of the New Orleans Public Library system, located in the New Orleans Central Business District, the Main Library encompasses the system’s largest collection of popular and research sources on three floors. The building also includes two sub-basements where the ILS onsite server is located. Like many libraries today, mitigating the danger of large-scale disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has become an increasingly significant concern for the library.

“We’ve seen some near misses with these storms,” said Jerry Pinkston, IT director. “The fact that our current server has reached end of life and resides in the basement below sea level, there was little question that we needed a disaster plan. Innovative manages Polaris hosting through a world-class Amazon Web Services environment, so we knew it would provide an increased level of service at a reasonable price.”

During Hurricane Katrina, the Main Library saw flood waters rise to just inches from entering the building. While collections at the Main Library were largely unaffected, Pinkston said it could have been a complete disaster for the entire library system had water breached the server room. Prior to hosting with Innovative, the library did experience delays waiting to restore the onsite server and access data again.

“Now, with hosted services, we won’t need to wait for a site restore,” said Pinkston. “We can rest assured that our patron data is secure, and when we experience another weather event, we’ll be ready to operate as soon as the building is open to patrons.”

By implementing Polaris with Cloud Hosted Services, the library can rely on Innovative to make automatic updates, handle all operating system updates, and hardware maintenance. This is an important benefit to a small IT department staffed by five people.

“It takes the pressure off us,” said Amanda Riley, system administrator. “It will help us immensely to schedule and reclaim much needed time to serve our patrons”

New Orleans Public Library has been a Polaris ILS user since 2013. This upgrade will provide staff a seamless transition as they continue to leverage the full potential of the ILS and Polaris Web Application to expand outreach capabilities and achieve strategic goals to champion literacy, strengthen communities and enrich minds.

“Investing in reliable technology and services is critical for today’s libraries, especially those like New Orleans Public Library that face disastrous weather,” said Innovative CEO Jim Tallman. “Innovative is committed to providing libraries across the globe with a comprehensive set of solutions and that includes highly secure and cost-efficient ILS hosting services.”

To learn more about Polaris and Innovative Hosting Services, 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.