Library computers fully operational again

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/18/98.

Library operations are now fully automated again following the recovery of data after a June computer crash at the Great River Regional Library system.

The Paynesville and Richmond public libraries and all other libraries in the Great River Regional Library system went back on-line Wednesday, Aug. 12, after six weeks of downtime. Library users are again able to search for materials and reserve them using the library computer network.

The computer network linking all 31 GRRL libraries crashed on June 25 when the hard drive disk holding information on library operation became unreadable. A back-up system intended to protect against such a crash also failed because of an unrelated problem, leaving the GRRL without operational computer records.

For some time, library staff believed that all of the information about the 700,000 items owned by the library would need to be re-entered. Relief came after Ameritech, the library computer network vendor, sent damaged tapes to specialists in England who were able to recover the data.

Staff at GRRL headquarters will still have to enter data concerning operations since June 25, and it may be several months before the location of each item is known. But for library staff, these are relatively small problems compared to a complete rebuild. Ken Behringer, GRRL director, said he is thrilled. He estimates that the recovery has saved about $750,000 that would have been spent to rebuild the computer system. Final cost estimates are unknown.

For more information on library services, contact the Paynesville Public Library at 320-243-7343 or the Richmond Public Library at 320-597-3739.

Return to Archives