Residents in the City of Tacoma and Pierce County Library System’s service area will continue checking out books, movies and music from either library for free. Recently the Board of Trustees for Tacoma Public Library and Pierce County Library finalized an agreement to offer reciprocal borrowing between the two libraries.
For the past year, residents in Tacoma and Pierce County Library’s service area participated in a pilot program for a borrowing service. The program allowed people in Tacoma to check out books and other materials from Pierce County Library for free, and it gave residents in Pierce County Library’s service area the option to check out books and materials from Tacoma Public Library, at no cost to the customer.
“The enthusiastic public response to this customer-focused choice and convenience exceeded our expectations,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “The results of the pilot program confirm that people expect community cooperation and access to public libraries throughout the county. We are thrilled to deliver this service that people want and need.”
During the pilot program, library managers studied the effects and successes of the program. They reviewed: 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.
“The number of people who got and used new library cards from neighboring libraries clearly demonstrates the need for this borrowing agreement,” said Susan Odencrantz, director for Tacoma Public Library. “Positive comments from both customers and staff members about the convenient service reinforced the numbers.”
During the pilot program, 4,499 Tacoma residents got Pierce County Library cards and checked out nearly 200,000 books and other materials. At the same time 5,765 residents in Pierce County Library’s service area got Tacoma Public Library cards and checked out nearly 143,000 books and other items.
Tacoma Public Library serves approximately 201,700 residents in the city of Tacoma and offers 917,000 books, CDs, DVDs and other items. Pierce County Library serves 554,000 residents in unincorporated Pierce County and 15 annexed cities and towns and offers 1.3 million books and other materials.