Petersburg Pilot -

Psg Library extends collection electronically

 


The Petersburg Public Library just got a whole lot bigger.

Not physically, but it has extended its electronic catalogue through the Joint Library Catalogue (JLC).

“It’s a consortium of libraries across the state, so we actually have over 1.7 million titles Petersburg patrons can choose from,” said Chris Weiss, library technician.

Residents with library cards can use them to reserve an item in any library that’s a part of the consortium, including those in cities such as Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage.

Items include books, DVDs and music.

“Everything is game except brand new items,” Weiss said.

Those are reserved for the library’s local patrons for six months.

If the Petersburg Library doesn’t have what’s requested, patrons can get it from the closest library that does. They send it to the Petersburg Public Library, and staff contact customers to notify them when it’s arrived.

Weiss said they prefer to go the email route to reduce paper service.

Library card holders can search the catalogue and place a hold on an object from the comfort of their own homes by going to psglib.org, or by stopping at the library.

“It’s convenient,” resident Dave Thomas said. “But what’s even cooler is that it expands your options.”

He’s used the JLC before in Juneau.

The reservation just requires a person’s library card number and a pin number. The default pin is the last four digits of the library card.

Weiss added that customers can always call for assistance.

She noted that the move to the JLC has been in progress for at least a year. There were “a lot of little details to work out” concerning the way it works.

It’s actually saving the library money.

Weiss said there’ll be about an 80 percent savings with the electronic catalogue as costs are now shared between all the libraries in the consortium.

“The staff who did the migration were incredible,” she said.

The Petersburg Public Library closed June 15 to make the switch and was done doing so by about noon that day. Weiss said they expected it to take longer, but that staff who completed the work started at about 3 a.m.

The Petersburg’s Library was able to put holds on items from other libraries that day and was officially open the next ready to go.

Since then, they’ve had a cartload of books come in from other libraries.

“So people are using it,” Weiss said. “That’s great.”

 

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