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Shared library service proves popular

A new shared service agreement between South Taranaki and Stratford libraries has proven popular with around 200-300 books a week moving between the two districts.

In December last year the two district’s combined their library catalogues so users now have more than 116,000 items available to choose from online. South Taranaki library users also benefit with an extended loan period from three to four weeks to align with Stratford’s which was already four weeks and in return Stratford has dropped many of its reserving fees to match South Taranaki’s ‘no fee’ policy.

The combined catalogue can be viewed online from either the South Taranaki District Council or Stratford District Council websites. Library users can reserve books online regardless of which library they belong to and can also return issued books to any of the seven South Taranaki libraries or the Stratford Library.

While reserving items is free, overdue fines stay the same. Library members are notified by email or a phone call when reserved items are ready to collect.

South Taranaki District Council libraries and cultural services manager, Lynne Walker, says the initiative is just another example of Taranaki Councils’ working together to provide an improved service for their residents.

“This (Shared Service) agreement extends the services we offer our residents while the libraries themselves remain autonomous and continue to be run by their respective council. It’s a win – win,” says Ms Walker.

“Residents of both districts have previously had to belong to both library services and have a card for each, but now they only need one membership card which keeps it simple,” she says.

Stratford District librarian, Jonet Moore says establishing shared library services between South Taranaki and Stratford Districts has been a great success. “All our residents have a wider range of resources to choose from, and for the almost 800 people who currently have a card for both library systems it has become easier and more convenient to manage borrowing on our combined system” she says.


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