January 22, 2022

Collaboration: Polaris Library Systems Chairman Pitches Partnership to Syracuse University iSchool

From the Syracuse U. iSchool:

Polaris Library Systems chairman James (Jim) Carrick came to the School of Information Studies (iSchool) 2013 convocation last week to present the keynote speech at the annual faculty/staff fall-semester kickoff event.

However, the guest pitched a collaboration of innovation between the institutions, inviting the School’s technology and library students, faculty and staff to work with his company to launch three “challenge” initiatives he hopes will improve community libraries, and the lot of librarians, everywhere.

Carrick proposed seeking ways to solve three issues he thinks restrict how libraries serve patrons now, which could “make a difference in the communities they serve”:

  • Getting library materials more easily in the hands of those whose access is restricted by their elderly or disabled status;
  • Creating a social media platform, and social strategies and technologies, to help librarians better communicate with their patrons and communities;
  • Developing a database of best practices as a tool for libraries to find workable ideas and the resources to improve their services and boost their community outreach.


The collaboration is something Carrick sees as something that’s possible because both institutions embrace and leverage change, he said. “We’re going through tremendous change in the world, and in the library industry, there is tremendous change going on. In the IT industry, what used to look like hardware and software is now becoming the cloud, and people are moving to the cloud very aggressively,” he noted. For Polaris, the company’s integrated system means it can create value and help libraries in communities provide more value than they do today.” Students bringing ideas and inventions to the fore, using Polaris’ resources to develop and circulate product, service and technology innovations would create both economic and social value, he said.


The partnership proposal, School Dean Elizabeth [Liddy] reflected, “is a really nice merger of the IT side of us and the library side of us.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.