Starting July 1, checking out books from Pierce County Library System and Tacoma Public Library will be a whole lot easier, because people who live in either the county library’s service area or the city of Tacoma may check out books from both library systems for free.
Up until now people who lived in these areas could only check out books from their non-community library by purchasing a library card.
“We look forward to offering this expanded service and give people more choices, convenience and customer-focused service,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “People have been asking for this seamless service and want to see cooperation out of their local governments, including their community libraries.”
This new service is a 15-month pilot program, outlined in a reciprocal borrowing agreement between the two library systems. Through September 2009, library managers will study the public response and affects of the program. The primary elements that will be studied include: customer response, satisfaction and use; revenue changes because of the lack of funds from cards purchased outside of the libraries’ service areas; and resources to return books to appropriate libraries.
With the new borrowing agreement, people may get a library card from the library system they want to check out materials from. When they check out books and other materials, people will need to return them to the library system where they checked them out.
“The pilot program will make it easier for residents to use the library or libraries most convenient to their home, school or workplace as they move around the county,” said Susan Odencrantz, director for Tacoma Public Library.
Tacoma Public Library serves approximately 201,700 residents in the city of Tacoma and offers 917,000 books, CDs, DVDs and other items. Tacoma Public Library also offers 60 e-sources of online encyclopedias and subscription magazines.
Pierce County Library serves 522,000 residents in unincorporated Pierce County and 14 annexed cities and towns, including Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Steilacoom and University Place. It offers 1.3 million books and other items, as well as 46 e-sources, thousands of audio and electronic books for download, and more than a thousand movies and TV programs to download.