In 2013, our library, Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth, joined together with the Jackson Public Library and the Madison Library to form the Northern NH Library Cooperative. This allowed us to share resources to save money and to provide expanded services to library patrons.
At that time, we contracted with ByWater Solutions for a shared library catalog using open source software called Koha. Sharing a catalog also made sharing collections much easier. Patrons have enjoyed being able to place holds and request items from all three libraries. And, patrons who visited other cooperative member libraries were able to use their home library card to check items out while there.
This month, on May 13, Northern NH Library Cooperative will welcome Conway Public Library as a new member. What this means for library patrons is that they will now be able to search, browse, and place holds on items from all four libraries, with a few exceptions. It also means that full- and part-time resident card holders can use their home library card at the other three libraries.
Because public libraries in New Hampshire are funded by local property taxes and other funds raised locally, Boards of Trustees from all four libraries have decided that this sharing cannot extend beyond the towns that are funding the cooperative. Of course, anyone from outside the four member towns can apply for a nonresident card at any of our libraries. Nonresident fees vary, as do our libraries.
We believe you will like the changes, and will join us in welcoming Conway Public Library to our cooperative!