The recently formed Southern NH Library Cooperative (SNHLC) is a collaboration of three area libraries that have worked together over the last year to establish a shared lending service that will give their patrons access to more resources than ever before. SNHLC member libraries include the Plaistow Public Library, Sandown Public Library and the Kimball Library in Atkinson. On January 30, SNHLC will launch a shared lending service for card holders of the member libraries that will give those patrons convenient online access to the combined catalog of resources from the three member libraries.
According to Carol Stafford, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sandown Public Library, "While the shared resource concept has been used by libraries world-wide for some time, it has not been a widely adopted concept in NH. So the concept is fairly unique to libraries in our area and we are pleased to see the Southern NH Library Cooperative bringing this exciting new service to library patrons from all three towns."
The way the shared lending service works is simple. If you are a card holder from any of the three member libraries, you can sign-up online and have access to the shared lending service. Current library card holders simply need to visit their member town library website, click on the Library Catalog section, and follow the steps for online registration to set-up their user account. New patrons will need to come into their member town library to apply for a library card before registering.
"We approached this project as a joint collaboration that will not only be a very cost-effective approach but will also give our patrons an incredible resource," notes Alan Phair, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kimball Library in Atkinson. "This really is a system that is about convenience for patrons who can use their personal user account at any time 24 hours per day from their home computer or anywhere they have internet access. The real value is for library patrons who get added access from 40,000 resource materials to 130,000."
Once registered, the online system puts users just a click away from access to the combined catalog of all three libraries as easily as they would search for items from their town library. Patrons will have their own user account that they can customize and which allows the ease of online access to customized searches either from their own town library or the shared catalog, they can place materials on hold and designate at which library they prefer to pick-up their materials. The system will also send users an email notification when a resource is available as well as a reminder email of renewal notices. The shared lending system also allows users the flexibility to customize their experience through optional sharing and social network features that they may choose to use. Some of the capabilities include saving reading history, browsing virtual bookshelf, writing and sharing reviews, as well as sharing through Facebook and other social media.
"We really think patrons are going to love and appreciate the ease and access that the shared lending service offers to them. Our town libraries remain an important resource for the community and as Trustees we want to keep our libraries current and moving forward in providing patrons with the resources and services that fit their needs," says Jennifer Kiarsis, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Plaistow Public Library.
Staff at each library are happy to answer questions regarding the new shared lending service. For more information about the Southern NH Library Cooperative, contact any of the member libraries:
- Kimball Library in Atkinson at 603.362.5234 www.kimballlibrary.com
- Plaistow Public Library at 603.382.6011 www.plaistowlibrary.com
- Sandown Public Library at 603.887.3428 www.sandownlibrary.us