By Sue Botos
Patrons will soon have thousands of additional items at their fingertips when the Rocky River Public Library joins CLEVNET over the Memorial Day weekend.
The consortium of 44 library systems throughout Northeast Ohio shares more than 12 million book, movie and music offerings which can be borrowed by anyone with a user card from a participating library.
“We will be saving $100,000 a year and provide additional resources for our patrons,” stated library director Jamie Mason during a recent interview. “It’s really a cooperative buying experience.”
While the move to CLEVNET from SearchOhio, the library’s current online database, will save dollars and greatly expand its collection, Mason stressed that the library will remain independent and not become part of a system.
“We are still independent. We reiterate the fact that we are independent and make our own buying decisions,” Mason said, adding, “Our board is not changing. All of our local funding will remain here.”
In addition, Mason said programming at RRPL will not be affected by the switch, and more funds will now be freed up to accommodate patron requests for materials.
While Mason noted that the request for print material has remained steady, an evaluation of public space as well as the CD and video collection is on the horizon.
Because these items are available through streaming services such as Hoopla, and now a larger selection with CLEVNET, he said there may not be the need to house an extensive assortment.
Instead of paying for databases such as Overdrive, Mason said the library will have access as a member of CLEVNET. “Currently, we have 35,000 e-books and that will be expanded to over 150,000. We will still own our own materials and will open us up to sharing (with other members),” he stated.
One of the biggest advantages offered by CLEVNET, according to Mason, is the fact patrons can use their RRPL card to order items from the entire network catalog as well pick up and drop off materials at the Cleveland Public Library and other associated facilities in Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, East Cleveland and the Geauga County Public Library system.
Rocky River is the first western Cuyahoga County library to participate in CLEVNET. The nearest participating facility is Cleveland Public Library’s West Park branch; however, materials can be ordered from any member library, then picked up and returned to RRPL.
The last day to request items through SearchOhio was April 13, but materials currently checked out through the service are not affected. Therefore, anything requested through that date, even if it does not arrive until later, can still be borrowed, according to Mason.
Although the official switch will not occur until Memorial Day weekend, May 27, 28 and 29, Mason said the project is already in the works, and it is possible items could be checked out through CLEVNET prior to those dates.