Archive for Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tonganoxie library project to expand offerings

Library to close on Friday, as workers place new barcodes on 17,000 items in collection

June 15, 2005

Residents won't be able to use the Tonganoxie Public Library on Friday, but that will be a minor setback to access up to 3 million books and other library items.

The library will be closed Friday so staff members, as well as volunteers from neighboring libraries, can place new barcode stickers on the backs of the roughly 17,000 items in the library's collection.

Re-barcoding is the final project before library users can have full access to the new NExpress catalog system that will allow library patrons to share items with 30 libraries in northeast Kansas and the Kansas City area.

For example, Tonganoxie library members could obtain books, magazines, audio tapes, videotapes, DVDs and other items from the Winchester Public Library that Tonganoxie does not already provide, said Sharon Moreland, library director.

"It's just like we're branches of the same library," she said. "It just makes our library that much bigger."

In September 2003, the library board approved the NExpress catalog, which is provided by the Kansas City Library Consortium through the Northeast Kansas Library System. In addition to a one-time start-up fee of $1,500, the new system will cost the library board $3,000 annually.

With the NExpress catalog, the new system will enhance the library's Web site and give it a greater presence to the library's members, Moreland said. There is no Web-based catalog with the current system.

"Frankly, we've just used it for DVDs," Moreland said. "I think they'll find it useful because there's so much more they can do at home or from work."

Library members just have to access the Web site, find an item they want from another library, order it and then wait for it to arrive in Tonganoxie. The person will even receive an e-mail confirmation when the item arrives in town, Moreland said.

Moreland said the staff and volunteers will get as much done as possible Friday, but they must wait for checked-out items to be processed, so it could be up to five weeks before re-barcoding is completed. The library will continue to use the old system until every item has been re-barcoded, Moreland said.

Residents will have to get a new card to go with the new barcodes. Library members who have filled out a paper application within the past two years won't have to fill out a new application, she said. Longtime members will have to fill out another application to get their new card. Members can obtain their new card anytime during the re-barcoding process.

NEKLS is one of seven regional library systems in Kansas. It is comprised of more than 100 public, school, academic and specialty libraries and provides services to more than one million people in 14 counties.

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