March 16, 2018

James Mieczkowski | Movers & Shakers 2005

General Contractor


When LJ spoke with James Mieczkowski about its nascent best sellers list (“books most borrowed”), Mieczkowski not only “got it,” he was already working on software that would help make it happen. Mieczkowski, the chief information office at GIS Information Systems, was just finishing a “Most Popular” sort for the company’s Polaris users so they could retrieve information about their own collections. Using his knowledge of libraries, their data, and the Polaris database design, Mieczkowski was able to expand on the idea of the report to generate best seller statistics.

“Jim and his team took this project one step further and modified Polaris to use this ‘popularity’ rating as a method of relevancy ranking,” says William Schickling, CEO of GIS. “For some patrons, the most relevant search result is what other people are reading. It’s a well-received new feature.”

Mieczkowski believes it’s important for librarians to leverage technology “to get things done in a smarter, less expensive way.” Online booksellers and the Internet “have presented the library with stiff competition for the patron’s attention,” a situation the library community “has been reluctant to accept, but it’s clear that is changing.”

Today, the role of the integrated library system (ILS) vendor has shifted to that of general contractor, says Mieczkowski. This means that vendors must “enable the open integration of the ILS to third-party products that can provide operational efficiencies.” Savings can be put into improved service – like shifting staff from behind-the-scenes work to direct public service.

For Mieczkowski, it’s all about creating tools that allow librarians to embrace change, take risks, and create the libraries of tomorrow.



Current Position Chief Information Officer, GIS Information Systems, Syracuse, NY

Degree B.S. Mathematics, concentration in Computer Science, State University of New York at Fredonia, 1977

Fun Nearly any sport, from softball to racquetball