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KYL to leave library group

Leaving BEACON consortium means patrons must have KYL library card to check out items; Director says independence brings improved library services

December 20, 2012
Jim Krajewski ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

The Kendall Young Library will be leaving the BEACON consortium of libraries in February of next year.

The BEACON consortium consists of about 60 libraries in north-central Iowa, which allows card holders of those libraries to check out materials from any other in the group. Library director Angie Martin-Schwarze said Kendall Young Library card holders that wish to check out items from BEACON libraries will have to get a card at a library in the BEACON group.

Conversely, those with a BEACON card that wish to continue to check out items at the Kendall Young Library must get a card specifically for Kendall Young Library.

"Others from the BEACON libraries will have to have a separate Kendall Young Library card. We realize it's an inconvenience, but we'll make it as painless as possible," Martin-Schwarze said.

Martin-Schwarze said the BEACON consortium purchased a library system that kept all of their information together. The change to a standalone system will offer improved services to patrons, such as email notifications for book due dates and new features for the library's online catalogue. Martin-Schwarze said the new system will also be more secure since card holder information will only be stored at the Kendall Young Library.

"By being on our own, we'll have more control over setting up the system to fit who our patrons are, how we operate as a library. It will give us more control and the ability to use more features of the software," Martin-Schwarze said.

While she said there are cost savings in such a group, the consortium meant that the library had to give up some autonomy, doing what works for 60 libraries instead of one. The move is unlikely to affect many cardholders, as Martin-Schwarze said the minority of Kendall Young Library patrons use other area libraries.

Digital magazines

Starting on Saturday, the Kendall Young Library will offer a free digital magazine checkout service through Zinio. Unlike the eBooks that the Kendall Young Library offers for checkout, magazine checkout has few restrictions.

"When you download a magazine onto your tablet, you can keep it as long as you want and there's no limit to how many people can check out a copy," Martin-Schwarze said.

The service will offer about 70 magazine titles to Kendall Young Library card holders. Martin-Schwarze said the service will likely bring new members and offer a service to community members who receive tablets during the Christmas season.



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