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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Changes at Vineland Library

FAQ about Changes at VPL and the end of the County-wide CLUES Card

The Libraries of Bridgeton, Millville, and Vineland are forming a new shared services group because the Cumberland County Library decided to end CLUES and join another group called LOGIN - in Gloucester and Salem Counties.  The County Library’s move – paid for by the Freeholders and the County Library Commission using county tax revenue - unfortunately puts an end to the county-wide CLUES library card and the cooperative shared services we have all enjoyed for over twenty years.   

1.    Where can I get a card?
1.    Bridgeton residents can go to the Bridgeton Public Library (BPL) for a free card and Millville residents can go to the Millville Public Library (MPL) for a free card. When supplies are available, Bridgeton and Millville residents will be able to apply for cards from BPL and MPL here at the Vineland Public Library (VPL).
2.    Residents of Cumberland County who do not live in Bridgeton, Millville or Vineland can get a card at the Cumberland County Library (CCL). VPL cannot issue CCL cards because our computer systems are now incompatible.
3.    All residents of Cumberland County can get a free card at the CCL, even if they also have card from BPL, MPL, and VPL.

2.    Will I have to pay for a VPL card?
1.    If you don’t live in Cumberland County, yes – just like always.
2.    If you live in Cumberland County, but not in Vineland – We don’t know yet. The specific borrowing policies have not yet been worked out by the Boards of the three municipal libraries.

3.    Which services will be limited?
1.    Inter-library loan (ILL) and book reserves are suspended now until the new catalog is in place.
2.    Once the old catalog stops working (on or about October 29), borrowing will be limited/suspended until the new catalog is working.
3.    All computer sessions will need to finish 30 minutes before closing each day due to the loss of our county-wide time management system.

4.    Why are the municipal libraries forming their own shared services group?
1.    Libraries are funded though property taxes. Cumberland County residents who live in one of the 11 townships do not pay to support the libraries in Bridgeton, Millville, or Vineland.
2.    VPL cannot use Vineland tax money to provide a free service to non-taxpayers without an inter-local service agreement based on mutual benefit, like the former CLUES system which County officials terminated. We are forming a new legal service agreement with the other two cities that will allow the three of us to share services.
3.    The CLUES system was abolished by the County Freeholders and the County Library Commission, not by anyone associated with the libraries in Bridgeton, Millville, or Vineland.  It was done over our repeated claims that abolishing CLUES is not in the best interest of local library users.
4.    Patrons with concerns about this should address the Freeholders.  

5.    Why isn’t VPL joining LOGIN too?
1.    The costs for Vineland to join LOGIN were high and the actual benefits few.
2.    LOGIN uses another version of the CLUES catalog, which has a lot of problems. We wanted to get a better and less expensive catalog.
3.    VPL wishes to remain partners with BPL and MPL, who are also NOT joining LOGIN.
4.    Residents of the three municipalities are all entitled to a free card from the Cumberland County Library, so we are not denying any services to our own residents by not joining LOGIN. 
5.    At the same time, our residents will continue to receive the free services of BPL, MPL, and VPL without our resources having to be shared across the 25+ members of LOGIN in three different counties.
6.    The three municipal libraries are creating the new group in order to continue quality library service for our patrons. This is a response to the Cumberland County Library and the Freeholders attempting to move all local libraries to LOGIN, which we feel will not meet local needs as well as we can. We believe our new shared services group will increase access to our materials and services for our patrons who live in Bridgeton, Millville, and Vineland, who pay for those libraries.  

6.    How long will the switchover period last?
1.    We are not sure how long the process will take. There are staff and Trustee committees working on the policies for our new consortium and attorneys working out the legal issues.
2.    Some service-related issues are in the hands of LOGIN and the County Library; and some depend only on our new catalog system.
3.    As we learn more and as more issues are finalized, this FAQ will be updated.

7.    Does this mean I can’t use the Cumberland County Library anymore?
1.    Vineland residents and those of the other cities are entitled to a free card from the Cumberland County Library, because that library’s services are still available free to them as County taxpayers. All County residents pay to support the County Library.
2.    There will be only minor changes in actual local library service once the changeover is complete, except that VPL will be paying considerably less for its catalog than we would if we joined LOGIN.  That money not paid to Gloucester County will allow us to offer better service here in Vineland.
3.    In order to use the Cumberland County Library as well as the Vineland Public Library, a person will need two library cards.

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