We have been working hard to resolve the recent problems with the library catalogue and access to customer accounts.
What’s the problem?
Over the past several weeks, the two servers we were using for the catalogue were having trouble meeting demand. We added a third server, but unfortunately it didn’t perform well and ended up making the problems worse. Last Friday, we introduced another new server to replace it, which seems to have addressed the access and response issues that you experienced.
Why is it so hard to get it right?
Some of the challenges with our catalogue arise from the fact that Toronto Public Library is so much larger than most other libraries. System configurations that have worked for other libraries do not always translate well when scaled for Toronto’s size. We're also coping with a recent increase in traffic to our website.
What has been fixed?
Problems with extreme slowness, timeouts, and error messages when trying to search or access your account should now be resolved. We continue to monitor this very closely, so please tell us if you are still experiencing timeouts or extreme slowness.
What still needs fixing?
We still have work to do to address usability issues with the catalogue. Some of the high-priority issues to be addressed include:
- After clicking “Your Account” and signing in, you are taken to the search screen instead of the account screen. You have to click on “Your Account” a second time.
- After placing a hold, you are returned to the “Place Hold” form rather than to your search results.
- It’s not currently possible to delete the list of missed holds that display in your account.
We continue to work with our vendor to improve the stability and responsiveness of the catalogue. We are also in the process of implementing a new search engine that will significantly enhance the usability, accessibility, and openness of our online services. In the meantime, we recognize the importance of the catalogue and are working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. We appreciate your continued feedback.