Case Study: Central Connecticut University Focuses on Service


Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University has a 680,000-volume collection and serves over 12,000 students. In 1989, library staff began a search for a more reliable, complete automation system than what was in place.

“We wanted a fully functional library system that would work in our particular context,” says Jeanne Sohn, Director of Library Services. “Because of the size of our library system, we hoped to take a simple approach to library automation. We were simply not willing to hire additional staff to administer an ILS. We also needed a system that would serve all four libraries in the Connecticut State University System.”

The libraries implemented a full Millennium system in 1993. “Innovative gave us a solution that worked and their staff has been very easy to work with over the years. The Innovative crew did a terrific job in the beginning and it’s worked out ever since then. When they began the 24/7/365 help desk that was even better.”

The libraries have succeeded over the years in no small part due to choosing a technology partner early on that’s been stable and solely committed to meeting the automation needs of libraries. “Looking back at our decision-making process, none of the other vendors we considered are still in business,” says John Rutherford, former Library Systems Director at Central Connecticut State. “I know that underlying everything Innovative does there’s been a commitment to research and development and that’s proven true over the years. The stability of the company was one of the primary things that’s been good for us.”

Along the way, Central Connecticut State went through a number of hardware changes. “We started with a terminal environment and then migrated to the client-server model,” says Rutherford. “There were migrations to three hardware platforms and we’ve had almost zero downtime all those years. Innovative has always provided a very stable system, without the need for us to have a big systems staff.” Innovative also provided excellent service to support their excellent products. “The Help Desk has been one of the big plusses because of the high level of support you get without the need for someone with substantial technical abilities in-house to translate technical jargon.”

“Millennium is a technology tool that mid-sized libraries, community colleges, and community college systems will like,” says Sohn. “Mid-sized libraries will find it much easier to work with than some of the other systems on the market. We have been really happy with the decision we made over twelve years ago. Things have worked beautifully. And in twelve years, the biggest chance of Millennium going down has been when a storm knocks down a telephone pole!”