All libraries in Sampson County have been temporarily closed as local officials attempt to rectify “significant computer issues” that have brought daily operations to a standstill in recent weeks.
All branches of the Sampson County Library system closed at 6 p.m. Wednesday “for computer system repairs and the re‐cataloging associated with migrating to a hosted circulation system,” county officials announced on Thursday. That includes four libraries — the J.C. Holliday Library in Clinton, the Roseboro Public Library, Bryan Memorial Library in Newton Grove and Miriam B. Lamb Memorial Library in Garland.
Notices have been posted at the entrances of the branches explaining the situation and asking the residents be patient while the issues attempt to be resolved.
About a month ago, on Oct. 16, the library’s circulation database was severely damaged by crashes of county computer hard drives. Those significant computer issues have rendered the library unable to complete circulation transactions or to offer access to public computers and Wi‐Fi.
Since that time, the library has attempted to remain open with limited services, but will now rebuild its database from an older backup database. After consultation with library database consultants, that option was determined by Library and Information Technology staff to be the “quickest and most efficient solution to the library’s computer issues.”
It will, however, necessitate verifying inventory of all items in all branches and re‐inputting those records that are not in the older database, an arduous and time-consuming task — and the reason for the closures.
Library and Information Technology staff will work to resume normal business hours as soon as possible, county officials said, with a target date to reopen on Dec. 4.
“It is our goal to make library services available to the public again in as short a period of time as possible,” said Library Director Heather Bonney, who stressed that Dec. 4 was an estimated time-frame. “Closing our branches will allow us to dedicate all of our staff resources to the system recovery. We regret this inconvenience and appreciate our patrons’ patience as this work is completed.”
Those interested can call the J.C. Holliday Library at 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. A notice posted at the J.C. Holliday entrance stated, “do not worry about renewals or fines during this period.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.