April, 2017

Venango County Libraries to Form Partnership

The three Venango County public libraries (Oil City, Franklin, and Cooperstown) will be embarking on a new, official partnership, beginning in April 2017.  Each library will become a branch of the Oil Region Library Association (ORLA) and multiple members from the existing library boards will be members on the ORLA board.

“The libraries have always shared a similar purpose,” said Dan Flaherty, Director of the Oil Region Library Association. “Now we can concentrate on a unified mission that allows us to best serve all our patrons within our service area in Venango County.”

Each library will continue to operate in their respective locations, meaning funds received and designated for specific branches will be spent accordingly and each location will continue to have its own advisory board that is tasked with focusing on their specific branch. The partnership allows the libraries to better cooperate and benefit the community.

“Each current library will continue to focus its efforts on providing for the local residents it serves, while sharing in a unified county vision,” said Debbie Oaks, current Franklin Public Library Director.

All three libraries are in support of these efforts and board members and directors from each, along with the District Consultant, have been meeting for the past several months to work out the details of the partnership.

“We have been partnering together for years, working especially closely since the countywide card catalog was implemented in 2015,” said Flaherty. “This is a way for the libraries to come together and better serve our community.”

The collaboration will allow the libraries to be more flexible with operations, such as staff workflows, services, fundraising, vendor agreements, partnerships and meeting state aid standards.  The libraries will also be able to maximize their efforts, resulting in cost savings and efficiencies, especially over time.  Additional benefits to the partnership include more consistent patron service, easier access to resources and services, and more effective communications.

“From individual lives to entire communities, everyone benefits by having access to quality library service,” said Flaherty. “Collectively, this partnership gives our county residents the best chance to access this for years to come.”