March 2, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIRST REGIONAL LIBRARY JOINS MISSISSIPPI LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP
It’s no secret that our public libraries are at a critical turning point. Faced with budget cuts from local and state funding agencies, and the increase in demand to supply the public with the latest technological advances, libraries continue to find ways to “stretch a dollar” and yet remain an up-to-date and vital resource for the community.
The staff of the First Regional Library has recently taken a huge step towards reaching that goal.
The Board of Trustees recently authorized the First Regional Library to join with the Mississippi Library Partnership, a consortium of 40 libraries of all types (university, community college, public and school) throughout Mississippi. The Mississippi Library Partnership share materials, technological resources, and get together for training on the latest in best practices, while retaining their individuality and autonomy.
FRL Director Catherine Nathan is pleased with the decision to join, remarking that “The staff and trustees of the First Regional Library could not be more pleased about joining the Mississippi Library Partnership! We look forward to many years of resource sharing and collaboration with the membership – and hope that other libraries will consider joining.”
Nathan stresses that the First Regional Library would not be changing that much, from the viewpoint of their patrons. “I want to make it very clear to everyone that First Regional Library is not going anywhere. We will still be operated by our staff and trustees, and funded by our local and state officials. This partnership is just a way of providing our patrons with more materials, and to save money on the technology side of things.”
Nathan said the biggest savings provided by this move is access to the Partnership’s computer server and access to 24/7 IT support. “As our library system has continued to grow, our server is too small, getting too old and needs to be replaced. By having our library’s information stored and maintained on the server of the Mississippi Library Partnership, we can concentrate on replacing and maintaining computers for the public to use.”
Patrons will start to see a difference to the online card catalog around March 15th. “Our catalog will be down for a couple of days while we make the transition, and there may even be a couple of days where you will see our staff checking out books the old-fashioned way—with pen and paper!” added Nathan. “When the merger is complete, patrons will see many, many more titles they can request. The materials that are outside of our five-county system can be placed ‘on hold’ and will be delivered to your FRL branch of choice.”
Nathan says a First Regional Library courier will be driving to Winona, MS once a week to pick up materials FRL patrons have requested from member libraries within the Mississippi Library Partnership.