By MARK TODD - firstname.lastname@example.org
A half-dozen libraries in Ashtabula County, including Conneaut, will gain access to much more material when a new cooperative venture with the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County library system becomes fully operational this spring.
Libraries in Conneaut, Andover, Kingsville, Rock Creek and Jefferson, along with Harbor-Topky in Ashtabula, will soon hook up to CLEVNET, a consortium of more than three dozen libraries in norhtheastern Ohio. When the system is finally in place in the next few weeks, local patrons will have access to material available in the collections of each member library, said Kathy Pape, Conneaut Public Library director. Expanded electronic book “borrowing” will also be a part of the new arrangement.
“We want to get books in people’s hands,” she said.
Membership in CLEVNET will require some changes in the way material is categorized and labeled in Conneaut to make it easier to share material between the libraries.
“There will be a different way of doing business,” Pape said. “We’ll have to change some terminology.”
Patrons, however, won’t notice any difference when they visit, she said.
A contract with another library-sharing organization recently expired, allowing the libraries to check other options, Pape said.
“We’ve spent years researching (alternatives),” she said. “This is the best move for Ashtabula County.”
Conneaut library officials have already visited other CLEVNET libraries to see how they conduct business, Pape said. The Conneaut library will host an in-service training session for the county’s other newcomers in the near future, she said.
To commemorate the CLEVNET affiliation, Friends of the Conneaut Public Library is selling tickets for a chance to win a Kindle Fire tablet. Donations are $1 each (three for $2 and five for $3) and can be obtained at the library. The drawing will be held April 1.