February 9, 2017 – For immediate release
On March 6th Curry County’s five public libraries will join the Coos County public libraries to form a dual-county library network of 14 libraries in the Coastline catalog and circulation system. This joint effort will serve 100,000 people on the southern Oregon coast and provide access to over 640,000 library items.
The libraries of the expanded network will share the open-source system powered by software called Koha, which includes cutting edge features like the integration of digital content in a package that is easy for libraries to use, while being affordable to maintain. Patrons of both counties will be able place holds on items in any of the 14 libraries or use the libraries to checkout materials directly and use any of the libraries resources in person.
Both counties will provide a regular courier service to deliver these items to the libraries. All libraries will also benefit from the larger pool of library materials from which patrons will be able to borrow, and realize their larger goal of upgrading the quality of their library catalog system without increased costs. Other benefits will include shared staff development and collaboration on special projects.
The benefits for both counties make a shared network highly desirable. By adding five new libraries to the network Coos County libraries will receive membership fees from Curry County libraries to help fund technical support for the Coastline system. The five additional libraries will add over 175,000 items to their catalog from Curry County. Per capita spending on library materials in Curry County is comparable, and in some cases higher than spending in Coos County, meaning that the merger should enhance the overall access of Coos County residents to library materials.
The joint project has been in the works for over two years. Curry County library directors first became interested in forming a larger network while investigating replacement options for their outdated catalog system. The Koha software used by the Coos County libraries quickly became a strong candidate. With an increased emphasis on streamlining services, reducing costs, and collaborating to improve overall effectiveness, the conversation between the Coos and Curry county library directors quickly moved toward the possibility of sharing a library network. After developing an intergovernmental agreement, the Curry County Libraries were granted $48,111 through the State of Oregon’s Library Services & Technology Act program to pay for necessary data cleanup and migration work prior joining Coastline.
Members of the network will include:
- Chetco Community Library
- Curry Public Library
- Agness Community Library
- Port Orford Public Library
- Langlois Public Library
- Bandon Public Library
- Coquille Public Library
- Myrtle Point Library
- Powers Library
- Dora Public Library
- Coos Bay Public Library
- North Bend Public Library
- Lakeside Public Library
- Southwest Oregon Community College