Bibliophiles rejoice: Bemis Library's offerings are about to get a whole lot broader. Starting in February 2019, Littleton's library will join at least 37 other libraries and library districts around …
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Bibliophiles rejoice: Bemis Library's offerings are about to get a whole lot broader.
Starting in February 2019, Littleton's library will join at least 37 other libraries and library districts around the state in the Marmot Library Network, a colossal resource-sharing consortium that increases by millions the number of materials available to patrons.
“The transition should be seamless,” said Bemis Library director Tim Nimz. “Patrons shouldn't notice a thing, except that all of a sudden they can find a ton more materials available in a search of our system.”
Nimz said some patrons with very old library cards, or cards from out of district may need to come in to the library at 6014 S. Datura St. to get a new card or a special sticker to allow them to access the new system.
The consortium means patrons can request books, movies, music, e-books and other items from academic and public libraries from around the state, from as far away as Alamosa and Grand Junction.
“This can be a real boon to researchers,” Nimz said, “because many of the member libraries have special collections that may include rare or one-of-a-kind materials.”
The benefit goes both ways: the addition of Bemis to the system could be a boost for researchers elsewhere, Nimz said, because of the library's top-notch local and Colorado history collections.
Becoming a Marmot member gives patrons access to roughly 4 million more items, Nimz said, as well as an additional 30 million through the Prospector inter-library loan system, of which Marmot is a member. Currently, Bemis is a member of the ILL inter-library loan service, which has a much smaller circulating collection.
The new system is a cost savings too, Nimz said: though the first year membership, which necessitates software upgrades to Bemis's systems, will cost $110,000, subsequent years' membership dues will be $75,000 — less than the $87,000 the library currently spends each year to be part of ILL.
Bringing Bemis into the fold is an exciting step for Marmot, said Adam Murray, the network's executive director, who's based in Grand Junction.
“The more we work together, the better the experience for patrons,” Murray said.
Marmot started as a way to boost library offerings to Western Slope patrons, Murray said, and in recent years is branching out to more of the state. Murray was also excited to bring in Leadville's library and their mining history collection, he said.
“We provide a sense of community between the libraries, and ultimately the people of Colorado,” Murray said. “Patrons have so many different needs from their libraries, and the more that join us, the more effective and efficient every member becomes.”
Murray said he's working with member libraries to digitally scan and upload their unique local collections to the web.
“My dream is to make all these wonderful collections discoverable to everyone,” Murray said. “Adding Bemis is a great step toward that goal.”
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