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Finding Money at the Library

$$$ Finding Money at the Library $$$ — Have you put this program on your calendar? If so, give us a call at 903-482-5991 to register so we can be sure to have a seat for you. We will start at 6 p.m. on Jan. 23 and be a wiser group by the time we finish at 7 p.m.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has completed its report of the value of the e-Resources provided to our library through our participation in the TexShare Program. If you are not familiar with TexShare it encompasses several programs in which participating Texas libraries share (thus that nifty title) the cost based on our population figures, but all have equal benefit. Our library pays $113 per year to participate. For that small investment we have the same databases as a city as big as McKinney, can issue TexShare cards and can borrow items through Interlibrary Loan. If we had to buy those resources on our own they would cost us $38,148 a year.

Let me tell you a little more about each program.

TexShare Card Program: This is a reciprocal borrowing program. If you are a patron in very good standing with us, your home library, then we can issue a TexShare card to you. You can then take that card to another participating library anywhere in the state and have limited borrowing privileges. So, let’s say you travel to Austin for your work on a regular basis. You want to be able to use Austin Public Library, but since you do not have a permanent address there they will not issue you a free library card. You can get a TexShare card from us, take it to Austin Public Library, and they will issue you a special card to use their materials and services. Each library sets its own policies about issuing and accepting TexShare cards, but it is a valuable supplement to your privileges here.

Interlibrary Loan Program: Many of you already use this service here. This is a statewide lending program that lets us borrow materials from other libraries for you to check out and return here. Consider that you might want to read a book that we do not own. You come to us and make a request for us to try to borrow the book from a library that does own the book. We enter your request into a Web-based system called Navigator. That system scans its internal catalog, determines some libraries that own the item and sends a request to them to let us borrow it. One of those libraries will click “yes” in Navigator and mail us the book. You pay us the postage it will cost us to send it back to them, check out the book with your Van Alstyne library card, read the book and return it to us. We then mail it back to the owner library. As with the TexShare Card, each library sets its own policies about what they will lend, but for the most part if the book is more than 12 months old and is not in their rare books collection, they will loan it.

E-Resources: These are the greatest resources we could offer you for many reasons. There are dozens of Web-based resources available to you 24/7 just by having a library card. You can search articles from professional or mainstream magazines and newspapers. You can find consumer health information. Job and Career Accelerator helps you update your job skills, fine-tune your resume’ or search for new career opportunities. Learning Express Library provides prep tests and interactive skills building for elementary through college subjects, including math and language arts. Use it to study for the GED, SAT or ASVAB. You can find fun ideas in the Hobbies and Crafts database, look at old maps in Texas Sanborn Maps and read life stories of those settling our area in The American West. These are a just a few of the titles of this collection of e-Resources.

As of Oct. 1, there are 693 libraries in Texas that participate in TexShare. They include four-year private and public colleges, community colleges, medical libraries, and public libraries in cities of all sizes. All you need is a library card with us to share in these resources.

Hope to see you around the Van Alstyne Public Library.