By STACY MILLBERG
Six Ashtabula County libraries are now part of a 44 library consortium throughout northeast Ohio, offering patrons access to more than 10 million items.
The Andover Public Library, Conneaut Public Library, Harbor Topky Memorial Public Library, Henderson Memorial Public Library, Kingsville Public Library and Rock Creek Public Library recently became part of the CLEVNET consortium of library systems. CLEVNET is made up of 44 library systems across 12 counties in northeast Ohio.
Each of the six CLEVNET libraries in Ashtabula County will host a celebration party Friday to welcome patrons to the consortium, said Susan Hill, director of the Andover Public Library.
Throughout the month of October, the libraries will also be conducting demonstrations of the new catalog and databases as well as eMedia. Refreshments will be served and all the libraries will have drawings for books or a Kindle Fire HD, she said.
Library patrons can continue to use their patron card at any of the six county libraries, but now they will also be able to use their card at any of the 44 CLEVNET libraries as well.
As a member of CLEVNET, patrons can borrow materials from any of the participating libraries; have items sent to their nearest CLEVNET library; return CLEVNET materials to any library in the consortium; check their library account, place holds and renew materials online; access subscription-only online resources covering topics such as car repair, genealogy, consumer information and medical information; and, connect to the eMedia collection to download audiobooks, eBooks, music and videos.
Hill said the smallest libraries in the county could not have migrated their data to the new network without the help of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) mini-grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the State Library of Ohio. The group also received help for 2013 book purchases from the Conneaut Foundation, she said.
“The libraries are so very grateful for the help,” Hill said. “Working together, we attracted financial help for all six of us. What a wonderful help it was to receive the grants.”
Hill said now library patrons can find everything they could have if they lived in Cleveland and used the Cleveland Public Library or its branches.
“Cooperation is the key to success in this economic downturn our county is still experiencing,” said Mariana Branch, director of Kingsville Public Library. “We are so very happy that we could band together to provide hugely expanded options for our patrons. Together we can do things we could not accomplish alone.”
“We are so very proud of this big improvement in what we can provide our users,” she said.
The libraries invite community members to stop in for refreshments, drawings and learning on Friday and throughout the month, Hill said.