Residents of Wayne and Pike counties who patronize the local libraries will benefit from a collaborative project between the two systems to combine their catalogs and circulation systems, officials said.
- Residents of Wayne and Pike counties who patronize the local libraries will benefit from a collaborative project between the two systems to combine their catalogs and circulation systems, officials said.
The anticipated launch of the project is late September, when library users will be able to use any library in the two counties with their current card.
"This project will make libraries more convenient and make more resources available to residents of both counties," said Molly Rodgers, administer of the Wayne Library Authority, in an email.
"Up until now, if someone regularly traveled between counties, they'd have to have two library cards. Come September, one card will give everyone open access to everything we own. We also see this as a first step toward other collaborative projects in the future. The more we can share, the more everyone benefits."
Residents will be able to search a catalog that will have roughly 160,000 items.
Currently, the Pike County catalog has about 64,000 titles and Wayne County has about 96,000 titles.
The library systems do not know yet how many of those are unique to one county or the other and how many are shared. Popular titles that are owned by both counties will mean that borrowers will have more copies available to them.
Not only can borrowers search a larger catalog, but they will be able to place holds on items regardless of county and have those titles moved to the library of their choice, officials said.
The Wayne and Pike library staffs are exploring ways to move materials between the counties at little or no cost using existing transportation services.
“Beyond the benefit to residents of greater access to more items, there is a cost saving benefit to both county systems," said Genevieve Reese, president of the Wayne Library Alliance, in a release.
She added, "The two counties use the same library circulation system hosted by The Library Corporation. By combining circulation systems, both counties will see substantial savings on annual licensing fees. The savings can be redirected to library services such as collections, technology and programs to benefit the public."
Kirk C. Mackey, president of the Pike County Public Library Board of Directors expressed excitement about the partnership.
“The library boards and administration in the two counties had been discussing a number of ways they could collaborate, especially since residents in western Pike County frequently use two libraries in Wayne County," Mackey said in the release.
Mackey said the discussion "moved from drawing board to implementation" when state librarian Stacey Aldrich heard of it.
"We are confident it will be of great benefit to both counties," Mackey said.
Aldrich met with representatives of the two counties in January and was excited about the prospect, officials said, noting that libraries are about sharing resources, "but sometimes our infrastructure gets in the way."
Aldrich saw the project as an opportunity to model inter-county cooperation in a way that could be replicated, said the release.
The project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.