By Judy Reed
Residents in the Cedar Springs and surrounding area may be glad to hear that as of September 17, they can have two “home” libraries where they can pick up books they’ve put on hold.
In 2010, members of the Lakeland Library Cooperative, an organization consisting of 41 libraries (81 if you count all branches), of which Kent District Library and the Cedar Springs Public Library are both members, voted that patrons had to go to their “home” library (where they paid their taxes) to pick up holds. This decision, along with some others relating to non-print materials and new books, was made due to cuts in revenue across Michigan.
However, Kent District Library is making a big change come this fall that opens up the opportunity for a patron to have a “home away from home” library as well. Currently, all the materials available at Kent District Library, Cedar Springs Public Library, and the other 38 Lakeland Cooperative members (excluding Grand Rapids) are available for viewing in the Lakeland Catalog. But, on Thursday, September 17, Kent District Library will launch an exclusive new KDL catalog, much as Grand Rapids did in 2008.
With the passing of a new millage of 1.28 mills, Kent District Library decided it was time to make a KDL specific catalog (Symphony) that would give KDL cardholders easier access to KDL materials. Having their materials mixed in with the holdings of 38 other libraries in the Lakeland-shared catalog was sometimes confusing and required extra steps to hold eMaterials.
“For the library to make the significant service improvements our customers want and that the library promised to them during the 2014 millage campaign, KDL needs to offer an improved catalog experience,” says Lance Werner, KDL Executive Director. The new catalog allows KDL to offer better customer service to KDL patrons, such as integrated access to the library’s significant digital collection, an improved searching experience, and more user-friendly policies, including increasing the number of holds allowed on physical items from 15 to 25 and allowing customers to renew material up to three times if there are no holds.
While KDL will still be a member of the Lakeland Coop, other Lakeland Coop patrons, such as those who are Cedar Springs Library members, will no longer see the materials available at KDL when perusing the Coop’s catalog, much the same way they can’t see Grand Rapids. The catalogs are not integrated.
KDL, however, is offering a compromise. They have offered that on or after September 17, all libraries in the Lakeland Coop can choose one of their 18 branches as their KDL “home away from home.” They can then enter the KDL catalog through their website, kdl.org, place up to 15 holds on print materials and pick them up at their new KDL Home Library. New books, audio, music, dvds, blue-ray, and video games cannot be placed on hold, but can be checked out when a non-KDL patron visits a KDL library. Due to licensing restrictions, digital items are limited to KDL members.
The Cedar Springs Library is also offering to KDL patrons the same privilege. Their patrons may enter the Lakeland Library Catalog though the Cedar Springs Library website, cedarspringslibrary.org, and order books to be sent to their Cedar Springs Library “Home away from home.”
“This arrangement will make a lot of people happy,” said Cedar Springs Public Library Director Donna Clark. She explained that many patrons who used both Cedar Springs and KDL were not happy with the 2010 vote to choose a home library. Now they will be able to pick up materials at both places.
However, until September 17, there will be some service interruptions. One to be aware of is that after July 31, non-KDL patrons will not be able to place holds on KDL materials, and KDL members will not be able to place a hold on materials in the shared Lakeland catalog. That can resume on or after September 17, once their catalog goes live, and patrons of the Cedar Springs Public Library and the other Coop libraries physically visit a KDL location and make it their home library. For more information, visit www.kdl.org.