Libraries link up in regional sharing
Porirua readers will have access to books from around the Wellington region, starting in October.
Porirua City Library members will be able to reserve books from libraries in Kapiti, Lower Hutt and Masterton, and from the Whitireia and WelTec polytechnic libraries.
What’s more, book reserves will become free for Porirua residents.
The project, dubbed ‘‘ SMART’’ ( Shared and Managed – A Region Together), is a New Zealand first, Porirua library manager Brian Anderson says. ‘‘It’s quite a big deal for us.’’ Auckland has a similar shared catalogue system, but polytechs are not involved there.
The six SMART libraries have been quietly working on the project for a year and a half, and took their inspiration from the successful interloan system, Mr Anderson says.
‘‘The old interloan was a real winner.’’
The biggest difficulty was merging the libraries’ online catalogues.
Wellington City Library was interested in joining SMART, but their cataloguing system was too different to the other six, Mr Anderson says.
Book reserves will become free when SMART goes live on October 3. Reserves are already free at Hutt City, Whitireia and WelTec libraries, and the other three libraries agreed to adopt this during project planning.
However, overdue book fines will increase by 10 cents to 60c to make up for the $7000 in reserve fees Porirua library will lose in the changeover.
A van will travel between the 24 library branches twice a week, picking up and delivering books around the network.