The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 28, 2013

CLEVNET affiliation a boost to Conneaut’s public library

CONNEAUT — A new partnership just a few weeks old is already getting rave reviews from Conneaut Public Library patrons, said Kathy Pape, executive director.

The local library, along with five others in Ashtabula County, recently joined the CLEVNET program that enables them to tap into the collections of libraries in 12 northeast Ohio counties, including the vast Cleveland Public Library. "There are now more than 10 million items (available for loan)," Pape said.

Response to the expanded inventory has been amazing, Pape said.

"(Before CLEVNET) our loans to and from other libraries were maybe 10 to 20 items," she said. "Now it's in the hundreds. We've seen a huge boost in business."

The network includes 44 libraries. The newest members come from the county: Conneaut, Kingsville, Rock Creek, Henderson (Jefferson) , Andover and Harbor-Topky (Ashtabula).

During the business day, staff in Conneaut are busy bundling the books, music CDs, DVDs and other loanables desired by people across the region. Pape said the interest in Conneaut's stock is very gratifying.

"As a librarian, the most exciting thing (about the network) is having people want what's on our shelves," she said. "We can put them in people's hands. I like to see our circulation numbers increase."

Over the years, Conneaut Public Library has amassed a sizable collection of classical music CDs, and they are now in big demand among the other member libraries, Pape said. "People can't seem to get enough of them," she said.

Meanwhile, city residents are zeroing in on specialty items the local library does not have the means to provide, Pape said. "We now have access to hidden gems I can't carry on my shelves," she said.

People also enjoy the access to downloadable electronic books the new network now provides, Pape said.

Nearby Kingsville Public Library is also enjoying a surge in business, Mariana Branch, executive director, said recently. Speaking at a Buckeye Board of Education meeting earlier this month, Branch said circulation numbers have doubled since joining the CLEVNET family. Music and video game numbers in particular have jumped, she said.

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