Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Connecticar" and "Connecticard" to Keep Running

Local Librarians Save Programs That Make Library Resources Widely Available. (Hartford Courant, 4/14/2011)

Excerpt:  Thank your local librarian — again — for standing up for free and easy access to books.

This time, librarians have figured out a way to save a couple of crucial programs while also complying with the governor's proposed budget cuts. One of the programs, "Connecticar," allows patrons to go to their local library and request a book from any other library in the state. It turns even the smallest local facility into a powerful regional library, helping out users who may not have access to a lot of materials locally.

The companion "Connecticard" program allows card-holders to check a book out of any public library in the state, which means you can go to the library in the town where you work, for example, to pick up a book or DVD on your lunch hour — and later return it to your hometown library.

Librarians have told state legislators they will find other cuts — about $1 million — so they can keep the popular programs running. In one of his less-than-brilliant budget cuts, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had proposed eliminating them.

Connecticard had nearly 300,000 users last year, borrowing nearly 5 million library items. Under Connecticar, a high school student, for example, could request research materials from another library and have them delivered to his hometown. The program makes 175 pickups and drop-offs every day.

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