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County public libraries uniting in service

The Columbiana Public Library, East Palestine Memorial Library, Lepper Library, Salem Public Library and Wellsville Carnegie Public Library announce the formation of the PLUS Consortium.

PLUS (Public Libraries Uniting in Service) will allow a greater level of cooperation and resource sharing between the five member libraries for the benefit of all patrons in Columbiana County. PLUS will provide integrated library services and resource sharing which will allow for a seamless experience for our patrons.

PLUS libraries have been working together to create this consortium for over two years and after many months of hard work and dedication we are pleased to announce that we will go live with our new integrated Polaris library system on Sept. 24.

What does this mean for patrons? It means there will be greater usage flexibility. Any patron with a library card in good standing will be able to use that card at any of the member libraries. Inter-county Interlibrary loan borrowing and lending of materials will be easier and faster than ever before. There will be more access to drop off sites as a patron can return an item to any of the member libraries.

Patrons will gain an expanded network of educational and business resources with the addition of SearchOhio and OhioLINK later this fall. SearchOhio makes millions of items available to participating libraries. SearchOhio is a partner with OhioLINK, which serves academic libraries which will allow students a greater resource to access research materials. These two services will be offered by all member libraries of PLUS. PLUS libraries want to offer the best resources to patrons and this is main reason for this cooperative effort. PLUS libraries are cooperating to utilize the most out of our limited resources and with this shared project it will greatly lower our individual operational costs.

The member libraries are grateful to the State Library of Ohio and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This cooperative project was “funded in part through a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio.” This project could not have been achieved without the funding from this grant. The Institute of Museum and Library services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov, www.facebook.com/USIMLS and www.twitter.com/us–imls).

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.” The PLUS member libraries are thankful for the IMLS mission which allowed the creation of this consortium and look forward to years of creativity and collaboration.

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