A single library card for Bradford County
If you have a library card from a library in Bradford County, the card can now be used at eight public libraries in the county.
On June 15, the county switched to the OneCard program, where a library card issued by a public library in Bradford County gives you full borrowing privileges at eight public libraries in the county, said June Houghtaling, administrator of the system of public libraries in the county.
"This is all about breaking down barriers," Houghtaling said. "We want people to be able to access materials as easily as possible."
The libraries in Bradford County have different strengths in their collections. One library might have a large collection of audio-books, while another might have a big collection of science fiction, she said.
"Now people can take advantage of all the libraries have to offer," she said.
The libraries that are participating in the OneCard program are the Allen F. Pierce Library in Troy, the Bradford County Library in West Burlington Township, the Green Free Library in Canton, the Mather Memorial Library in Ulster, the Monroeton Public Library, the Spalding Memorial Library in Athens, the Towanda Public Library, and the Wyalusing Public Library.
The board of directors of the Sayre Public Library has not yet made a decision on whether the Sayre library will be participating in the OneCard program, Houghtaling said.
The new system will particularly appeal to people who travel around the county, she said. It will also be useful to anyone who might be passing by a library he or she hasn't used before and wants to see what items the library has to offer, she said.
Until now, a Bradford County resident could obtain library cards to all of the libraries in Bradford County, but he or she needed to obtain a separate library card for each library that he or she wanted to borrow items from.
Library patrons can now use a smartphone or any Internet-connected computer to search the collections of any of the eight public libraries that participate in the OneCard program, she said. Or they can search the collections of all eight libraries simultaneously.
Using a smartphone or Internet-connected computer, library patrons can use their on-line accounts to order a book or other item from one of the eight participating libraries and have it delivered to their "home library," she said.
Houghtaling explained that library patrons will be asked to designate of the eight participating libraries as their "home library," Houghtaling said.
Library patrons don't have to designate the libraries near where they live as their "home library," Houghtaling said. Library patrons, for example, might wish to designate a library that isn't near their home but which they pass each day on the way to work, she said.
Patrons can also telephone the library that owns a book or other item to arrange to have it delivered to their "home library." Or they can telephone their "home library" to arrange for the delivery of the item, she said.
A van delivers carries books twice a week between the public libraries in the county.
All of the eight participating libraries have the same checkout periods and fines, which makes them easier to remember, Houghtaling said.
Library books and other borrowed items may be returned to any of the eight participating libraries, she said.
In May, the public libraries in Bradford County completed their switch to the new Apollo circulation and cataloging system, she said.
The Apollo system makes it easier to download e-books, as it now involves fewer steps, Houghtaling said.
Under the Apollo system, library patrons use their telephone number and library card number to access their on-line accounts.
No longer do library patrons have to use a PIN number, which they might forget, she said.
Besides ordering items through inter-library loan, on-line accounts are used for other functions, such as reserving books and renewing books.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or firstname.lastname@example.org.