Local library officials are going to need a little bit more time to sort this mess out.
County officials announced late Thursday, on the eve of what was the hopeful reopening of library branches across Sampson County, that the doors would be staying closed a little longer.
All branches of the Sampson County Library system — J.C. Holliday Library in Clinton, Roseboro Public Library, Bryan Memorial Library in Newton Grove and Miriam B. Lamb Memorial Library in Garland — have been closed to the public since 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, for computer system repairs, notably for employees to conduct inventory and re‐input library records.
Significant computer issues rendered the library unable to complete circulation transactions or to offer access to public computers and Wi‐Fi. Sampson County Library system employees “continue to methodically rebuild the system’s database that was severely damaged by crashes of county government computer hard drives,” the county said in a prepared statement.
Notices have been posted at the entrances of the branches explaining the situation and asking the residents be patient while staff works behind closed doors to fix the issues.
The initial target date to reopen all libraries was Dec. 4.
“Since Nov. 18, library employees have completed inventory of the system’s materials and determined that there are approximately 10,000 items to re‐catalog for the Garland, Newton Grove and Roseboro branches combined, in addition to nearly 14,000 records for the main Clinton branch and bookmobile,” the county statement read.
While Library Director Heather Bonney and staff had hoped to resume normal operating hours at all library facilities by Dec. 4, they now anticipate closure for another 10 days.
“We believe the most feasible option for making library services available as soon as possible is to concentrate our efforts on the branches, as they have the fewest items to enter,” Bonney stated. “We anticipate being able to reopen in Garland, Roseboro and Newton Grove on Dec. 14 with their regular hours. The completion of the database at J. C. Holliday in Clinton will take another week, and we are targeting re‐opening this facility no later than Dec. 23 so that people can checkout materials before the holidays.”
In the aftermath of county government server crashes, Library and Information Technology staff determined that the quickest and most efficient solution to the library’s computer issues was to rebuild their database from an older backup. That option necessitated the verification of inventory of items in all branches and re‐inputting those records which were not in the older database.
“We do appreciate our patrons’ patience as this work is completed,” Bonney said.
She again reminded citizens that they can continue to call the library’s main number, 910-592‐4153, for updates on their status and reopening. During the library’s temporary closure, patrons may return items by placing them into the book drop.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.