City Council approves expanded inter-library loan participation

Sean C. Morgan

Patrons of Sweet Home Public Library are now able to borrow books from other Linn County libraries without leaving town.

The City Council, during its regular meeting on March 8, approved an intergovernmental agreement with other cities to join the program.

“Our taxpaying patrons and our out-of-city patrons that have library cards can go on the Linn Libraries Consortium (website), or any of the public libraries participating in the card catalog,” said Library Director Rose Peda.

“You can search just in Sweet Home or all of the Linn Libraries. Now you can keep it on hold. It will know you are a Sweet Home resident and defaults for the pickup here in Sweet Home.

“We’ve been working on this for a while now, two years. I’m very happy. It’s an exciting time for us.”

Twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, a courier will make a circuit of the participating libraries and transport the books among the libraries.

When a patron is finished with a book, Peda said, the patron need only drop it off at the Sweet Home Public Library. The courier returns it to the appropriate library.

Prior to this program, patrons were able to look up books, place a hold and check out books at other libraries in the county, Peda said, but they would need to travel to the appropriate library to check it out.

The net effect is that it increases the library collection by five times, Peda said. Participants include Linn-Benton Community College, Albany, Scio and Harrisburg libraries.

Patrons at those libraries and Sweet Home can place holds and check out books from Lebanon, Peda said, but Lebanon is not part of the agreement yet. It may join later.

The courier service is funded by a two-year grant, with a year one budget of $67,000 and a second-year budget of $47,000. The second year of the program begins July 1, and the service will continue through June 2017.

After that, the library directors will get together and discuss how to divide the cost of the courier service, Peda said. If the council chooses, it can extend the service year by year.

The city pays about $1,000 per year for the combined card catalog service used by the Linn Libraries Consortium.

The program has limitations, Peda said. Books are available outside the host library only after six months.

A patron may have only five items from other libraries out at one time. The checkout period is three weeks from the time of checkout, with one renewal.

Patrons must remain in good standing, with less than $5 in fines in order to check out materials.

DVDs are not available for inter-library loans.

The libraries may be accessed at At the site, change the library menu to “Linn Libraries Consortium.”

Present at the meeting and voting to enter the intergovernmental agreement were councilors Marybeth Angulo, Ryan Underwood, Greg Mahler, Mayor Jim Gourley, Dave Trask, Bruce Hobbs and Jeff Goodwin.

In other business, the councilapproved a motion to appoint two councilors to the Economic Opportunity Analysis Advisory Project Committee.

The city recently received a Department of Conservation and Development Technical Assistance Grant to hire a consultant to assist staff with the development of an economic opportunity analysis.

The analysis is required every 20 years under statewide planning Goal 9.

The analysis is intended to identify comparative advantages for economic development in Sweet Home and to determine if Sweet Home has enough land to accommodate 20 years of growth.

The committee will include two councilors, a planning commissioner, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Sweet Home Economic Development Group and other local stakeholders.