ERIC Number: EJ712255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-15
Reference Count: N/A
Infinite Collections, Almost: Franca Rosen Defines Resource Sharing and How It Can Change Your--and, More Important, Your Patrons'--World
Library Journal, v130 n7 pS4 Apr 2005
The dilemma is one that most public librarians know well. The interlibrary loan (ILL) service over the past seven years had increased by almost 72 percent--with no end to the upward spiral in sight. Borrowing had increased 23 percent, but lending to other libraries had seen the largest growth: 106 percent. ILL staffing hadn't increased and wouldn't, owing to budget restrictions. Sound familiar? This was Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL), CO, in the late 1990s, a library with ten branches that serves a population of more than 500,000 and circulates over 4.3 million items a year. The staff explored every way to make the ILL operations more efficient but strained to keep up. At the same time, saying "no" to patrons or peer libraries was not an option. Nor did staff consider it good service to make interlibrary loan less visible. The solution came from an innovative partnership between both academic and public libraries that made resource sharing easier, cheaper, and patron-driven. In 1997, JCPL was invited to participate in an experiment among a dozen or so academic and public libraries in Colorado called Prospector. The brain-child of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries and the University of Northern Colorado, with the help of a $640,000 grant from the state's Technology Grant and Revolving Loan Program, the partnership created a Colorado union catalog. Prospector allowed users to view library holdings and circulation information of member libraries with a single search. Patrons could request items online from any of the participating libraries and have those items delivered to their local library. This article briefly describes Prospector and how it helped to improve the Jefferson County Public Library system.
Descriptors: Shared Resources and Services, Sciences, Private Colleges, Grants, Educational Technology, Computer Software, Costs, Search Strategies, Research Libraries, Public Libraries
Library Journal, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 800-588-1030 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.libraryjournal.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado