Hello, I wanted to touch base and report on a big process that occurred throughout 2017. We have had an exciting year for the public libraries in Venango County as we’ve embarked on a process to officially partner together! This partnership has come together under the name of Oil Region Library Association (ORLA). With increased efforts over the past several years, the libraries have been able to combine forces and work out arrangements that will bring all three public libraries in the county (Cooperstown, Franklin, Oil City) all under the umbrella of ORLA by January 1, 2018. So, what does this mean for you?
For the most part, this partnership has already taken effect from the patron’s point of view. You currently get a county card when registering that allows you to borrow items from any location, return items to any location, renew items from all locations at one time, and set your pickup preferences for holds to any location. The loan periods and overdue fines or rental fees are also the same for each location to make it easier for everyone to remember. Convenient, right?!
So what is new then? Our administrative staffing has decreased to allow for some cost savings and our standards for hiring have been adjusted to create more flexibility within each library. Certain staffing duties have been consolidated to minimize duplication at each location. This means we are able to get more done behind the scenes together and allow each library location to focus on providing services to the public. We can also spread the same message collectively throughout the county!
Since the partnership began to take hold, our libraries launched various cooperative initiatives beyond sharing resources. Most notably, we all participated in a three-week mega book sale in October that provided over 100,000 quality, affordable items for people to boost their own home collections in addition to providing a nice fundraising opportunity.
We look forward to 2018 and expanding our cooperative efforts! We always encourage feedback from the public on how we can improve and provide the best libraries for our communities so stop in, give us a call or email us to keep the conversation going.