Libraries for many years have crossed local boundaries and shared resources through cooperative lending agreements with other libraries. Royal Oak Public Library is part of a library cooperative, The Library Network (TLN), which includes 65 libraries in four counties of southeastern Michigan. When you place a hold for a book from our eLibrary shared catalog, the book may arrive here from Oakland, Wayne, Livingston, or Washtenaw County, delivered by the TLN trucks that make daily delivery runs. If you cannot find a book within TLN, the MelCat system allows you to request interloans from libraries all over Michigan. When you visit other libraries in TLN, your ROPL card is honored by those libraries. By sharing our resources, we can connect our card holders to more materials than one single library can afford to purchase and house.
Our cooperative arrangements sometimes extend beyond sharing materials. Occasionally we even share staff! Many of you may have noticed some new faces at our circulation desk over the past several months. Five part-time library aides from Clawson have been working here during Clawson's library expansion and renovation. Within the next couple of weeks they will be returning to the Blair Memorial Library to prep for its grand re-opening on Saturday, Dec 4. We have been pleased to welcome Blair Memorial Library customers and staff during the time that their library service has been temporarily disrupted. It has been a great opportunity to get to know the customers and staff from our neighbor to the north.
Another neighbor to the north, the Troy Public Library continues to face huge challenges to stay open to the public. The confusing millage proposals on the November ballot failed to pass. Troy Public Library is not part of our library cooperative, but we have a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Troy. The key word is reciprocal. If TPL has to shut its doors, there will be no library to reciprocate, so there will no longer be a cooperative borrowing agreement between Royal Oak and Troy. Royal Oak would no longer extend library privileges to Troy residents. While TPL is still open, Troy and Royal Oak continue to honor that reciprocal agreement.
These are some of the many ways Michigan libraries cooperate in an effort to offer as wide a range of library and information services as possible to our residents. These collaborative efforts also help stretch our financial resources because TLN and other Michigan library groups have bargained for volume discounts on a variety of services, resulting in many thousands of dollars of savings for ROPL.
Enjoy your library and its many services! If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Mary Karshner, Director