A New Academic and Public Library Collaboration in Pennsylvania to Save Costs, Expand Access, Convenience
From Penn St. University:
A new collaboration between Penn State University Libraries and Schlow Centre Region Library in downtown State College, Pennsylvania, now enables University Park students and employees and Schlow Library patrons to return checked-out materials at any on-campus or Schlow drop-off location. What started as a cost-savings inquiry has evolved into a potentially scalable model for town-gown partnerships to increase Pennsylvanians’ access to library materials statewide.
If successful, this model of a reciprocal materials-return service may enable the University Libraries to expand it among many of its other Penn State locations, for added savings and expanded access to University and public library services in Penn State’s regional communities across Pennsylvania.
The collaboration stemmed from a small request to discuss a cost-savings solution for Schlow Centre Region Library. On occasion its visitors have accidentally returned Penn State University Libraries materials at Schlow drop-off sites, and Schlow staff hoped they and their library colleagues at Penn State could find a way to avoid shipping costs to return those items to University Park. An ad hoc group representing both libraries met to discuss possible solutions, and an idea formed that transformed accidents into a purposeful and convenient service for both organizations’ borrowing communities.
The organizations also have agreed to extend a brief return grace period to accommodate the delivery schedule. Schlow or Penn State library borrowed materials dropped off by their due dates at any of the other library’s locations or remote book drop sites will be considered returned on time to the location of origin.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.