County Libraries to Combine Catalogs

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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.

1 Comment

  • Nell

    I live in Luzerne County, but my library card has a dark blue sticker on it that says “Access Pennsylvania”. I’ve borrowed books from as far away as PittsBURG. (not to be confused with Pittston, which I’ve also borrowed from). And I’ve been doing it for 20 years or more. Borrowing books from Osterhout to Hazelton takes little time – at most a week.
    From places outside the county it might take up to two weeks (unless it’s someone’s theses – that might take a little longer). And all the librarians I’ve had to work with have been extremely patient (no, I’m not a librarian). But I’ve never had to go any farther than my local library (Back Moutain) to pick these books up. (The one from Pittsburg took just three weeks, much to my amazement, a librarians reach is longer than you might think).
    So how you can say that this is the first time in the state that two counties have been connected puzzles me no end. Look at your library cards kids, I know you have them, and you might find the same little blue sticker on them as I have on mine. ( oh, and go ahead, correct my spelling and grammer but remember that American English is an evolving language … if it wasn’t, I’m afraid many of you wouldn’t be working in the position you have now).
    P.S. Congratulations to Wayne and Pike Counties for combining their catalogs. It’s a super way to increase their access and save money for both libraries at the same time. It’s certainly true they won’t see money from the counties or the state anytime soon.

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