MILFORD AND HONESDALE, PA — In late September, the two library systems in Pike and Wayne counties will launch a collaborative project to share each other’s catalogs and circulation systems. By combining Pike’s catalog of approximately 64,000 titles and Wayne’s 96,000 titles, the expanded catalog will include roughly 160,000 items. Librarians do not yet know how many of these titles are duplicated in the two systems.
Library users will be able to use any library in the two counties with their current card and will be able to place holds on items regardless of county and have those titles moved to the library of their choice. Currently, the Wayne and Pike library staffs are exploring a number of ways to move materials between the counties at little or no cost using existing transportation services.
“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,” reported Kirk C. Mackey, president of the Pike County Public Library Board of Directors. “The discussion moved from drawing board to implementation when Pennsylvania’s State Librarian Stacey Aldrich heard of it. We are confident it will be of great benefit to both counties.”
Aldrich sees the project as an opportunity to model inter-county cooperation in a way that could be replicated elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
“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. “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.”
This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.