--- — Now that the Batesville Memorial Public Library is part of the Evergreen Indiana program, patrons have access to materials at other member libraries across the state. The program “has been available in the state for a couple years now .... (and) is being offered through the state library for free,” reports BMPL director Mike Kruse. “That was one appealing aspect because we’re saving some taxpayer money.” In addition, “the libraries in Brookville, Greensburg, North Vernon and Seymour are using it, and I kept hearing from those directors how much their patrons liked it. “It’s resource sharing and opens up all those participating libraries to those resources through the interlibrary loan system. Persons can search the whole system, over 80 libraries, from their own homes or here at the library,” he adds. To switch over to the new program, “we had to send all the information about our collections and patron data base to the state library in the format we were using, and they changed the information over to the Evergreen program.” Signing up for a library card is easy. “If you already have an active card, you can talk briefly with someone on the staff, and they will sign you up,” the director reveals. Those who do not have a card can still sign up but must show proof of residence. “We’re asking people for an e-mail address ... so you can receive a notice if checked-out items are close to being due .... We’re all busy so this little e-mail that pops up is a helpful reminder.” The Evergreen system “is opening up the other member libraries to our patrons .... If they’re traveling and visiting another library, they can check out items there and return them here (at BMPL). It opens up so many more possibilities for reading sources and getting information .... with access to well over 3 million items across the state.” BMPL circulation clerk Heather Ronnebaum says many people are taking advantage of the interlibrary loan. “We used to only send out about 10-15 items a week and get about 10-15 in return.” However, “our last shipment was 35 bags to 35 different libraries .... We do get a lot of requests going out of here, and I just got done processing another three that came in last night. “It has been very beneficial to our patrons because they have access to more books in other libraries .... (and) it has opened up a whole new world to the smaller libraries,” she emphasizes.
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