For the first time in the state, libraries in two counties will share their entire catalogs.
Pike and Wayne counties are taking the innovative approach to help cut costs and offer more books, DVDs, and other resources to residents.
The Wayne Library Alliance and the Pike County Public Library are venturing into uncharted territory.
In a couple of months, folks in both counties will be able to use all nine libraries in Pike and Wayne counties and select from the entire combined catalog.
Folks with the libraries said it just makes sense.
Books come and go at the Wayne County Public Library in Honesdale. It’s one of seven locations across the county and will soon have a bigger selection of hardcovers, paperbacks, and everything you expect a library to have.
“My wife goes through, she can go through six to eight books a month,” said Dave Smith of Honesdale.
Smith’s wife reads a lot and so does he. Now they, and all library card holders in Wayne and Pike counties, will have both counties’ catalogs at their fingertips.
Molly Rodgers heads up the Wayne Library Alliance and said folks in Pike County have long used libraries in Wayne County which are closest to them.
“So we’ve been talking for a while about how we can collaborate and better serve the patrons regardless of which county they reside in,” she said.
By the time libraries in Pike and Wayne counties start sharing catalogs in two months time, they’ll have more than 150,000 titles between them. Not only will it give them more to choose from, it will save the libraries lots of cash.
That’s because the libraries already use the same computer catalog system saving a combined $8,000 per year.
That way the money can be spent on books, DVDs, even E-books that people can take home.
“We can have more of an outreach, more books we can read and that’s exciting,” said Smith.
Al Luvine of Pleasant Mount liked the idea, and said it will give him and everyone else more choices. For the same low price: nothing, as long as books aren’t overdue.
“If they don’t have the book here at Wayne County, and have it at Pike County, now you can ask for it, Pike County can send it up here.”
Library leaders in both counties said any way they can save money helps them keep ahead of budget cuts.
Several years ago, the state slashed funding for libraries by about 25 percent.
The merging of catalogs in Wayne County with Pike County is expected to happen by late September.