Both Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library and Hudson Library have access to vast collections of books, DVDs and CD books.
Local libraries have always provided vast resources to communities. However, there are ways for communities to support libraries as well.
First a personal story about the former. I contacted Carlyn Morenus, branch librarian, Hudson Library, and Serenity Richards, branch librarian, Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, about a new book that I wanted to read about early 20th century journalists. It turns out that Citizen Reporters: S.S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That Rewrote America, by Stephanie Gorton was in the statewide library system, outside the Fontana Regional Library system. They not only tracked it down, but within two weeks I had the book.
“We have several ways to obtain books and other library materials for patrons,” said Morenus. “First, of course, we look in our own collection. But if we don’t happen to own what the patron is looking for, we can often get it quickly from another branch of Fontana Regional Library. This includes brand-new books. And if that doesn’t pan out, there are over 250 libraries in the NC Cardinal library consortium. We lend and borrow between libraries constantly, and it usually takes about a week, maybe two, to get something from even a far-flung library. The only caveat is that we can’t borrow brand-new books from other library systems.”
Richards informed that each library system’s general policy is to keep newly released books for the first six months so their own local patrons understandably have first access.
All options offered by libraries are free for patrons. Thus, branch librarians encourage patrons not to hesitate asking library staff to track down books.
Also, for items not yet in any NC Cardinal library, patrons can make a request for that item to be added to the collection. This can be done by calling a local library or asking in-person at the desk. “Purchasing budgets are not infinite, but we’re usually able to accommodate these requests,” added Morenus.
Regarding how communities can support libraries, other than to patronize them regularly, Fontana Regional Library branches have Friends of the Library groups, which welcome volunteers. The groups oversee sales of used library books at some local stores or during periodic sales.