Common Staff Writer
The Portsmouth Public Library (PPL) has announced plans to join the Ohio Valley Library Consortium (OVLC), expanding its selection with nearly six times more material.
“All of this started several years ago when the governor urged local governments or state departments to try to look for ways for everyone to share resources. The state library looked at that and thought it would be a good idea,” said Paige Williams, Director of the PPL.
She said the federal government had given the state a grant to allow to library consortium’s to be formed, and multiple consortiums have been formed throughout the state, as a result.
“There are seven libraries in southern Ohio, who all use the same circulation system. The directors of the seven libraries meet once a month and one day thought a consortium needed to be formed in southern Ohio and that’s what we did,” Williams said.
The seven libraries include, Oak Hill, Jackson, Wellston, Meigs, Briggs Lawrence, Vinton County and Portsmouth Public Library. Williams said all seven libraries will have a shared materials catalog.
“We are going from a catalog of about 120,000 titles to opening up to several hundred thousand titles. The best thing about it is that at 2 a.m., you decide to get on the Portsmouth library catalog, you will not only be looking at our catalog, you’re looking at all of those catalogs and can request anything that you want,” Williams said.
She said the Portsmouth Public Library received a $33,000 grant to help implement the merger. The merge process requires the library’s computer systems to be down for several days which will cause an interruption in service schedule.
“This Thursday they are going to take us offline. On Friday we’ll be open but, we will be very limited in what we can do that day. Saturday, Dec. 1 we are having to close. We will also be closed on Sunday, Dec. 2, Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4. All library locations and the Bookmobile will resume their regular schedules on Wednesday, December 5,” Williams said.
“While we are closed all of our data has to be pulled and merged. We are the biggest library in this consortium so; it’s going to be quite a job to merge all of our information into everyone else’s. The staff will go through training Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday we will open operating with the new system.”
Williams described the merger as a huge undertaking but, the advantages in the long run will be well worth it.
For more information visit the Portsmouth Public Library and local programs and services, visit them online at www.yourppl.org.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org.