Where do no-longer-needed back issues of Library periodicals go these days? Not into the recycle bin but to the library at the Bedford VA Medical Center, a recently developed “partnership” that is a win-win for both libraries.
At the October 8 meeting of the Library Trustees, Director Richard Callaghan read a letter of appreciation from Sarah Carnes, Clinical Librarian at the Medical Center, thanking the Library for donating magazines to augment the collection she maintains for patients. As Carnes explained, her focus is on the information needs of the clinical staff, but she also provides direct support to veterans, both inpatients and outpatients. She said her library receives a large number of donated books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, but the one missing category was magazines. “Your library and your library staff have come to our aid and mitigated that need,” she wrote. Each month the library staff weeds and packages hundreds of gently used magazines. A volunteer from the Medical Center picks them up and delivers them to Carnes for distribution. Carnes, a veteran herself, wrote she was especially grateful to Assistant Director Noreen O’Gara and Head of Circulation Jen Dalrymple for their efforts in setting aside materials and making the partnership possible.
In other business, the Trustees received an update on the changing status of ebooks. Macmillan Publishers is now restricting library systems to the purchase of one copy of a new title for eight weeks. Bedford Library patrons download eBooks with OverDrive and Hoopla, popular and heavily used services.
The American Library Association, responding to this change, states: “When a library serving many thousands has only a single copy of a new title in ebook format, it’s the library-not the publisher-that feels the heat. It’s the local library that’s perceived as being unresponsive to community needs.” As President of the Minuteman Library Network, Richard Callaghan has sent a letter of protest to Macmillan; Elizabeth Hacala, Chair of the Trustees, urged the Board to protest as well. To date, Macmillan is the only one of the major publishers to impose such an embargo.
In new business, the Trustees considered a request from a patron to install a door-opening button on the handicap accessible bathrooms. For someone using a rollator walker or wheelchair, it is difficult to open the heavy doors. Staff will look into the feasibility of this request.
The next meeting of the Trustees is Tuesday, November 12. The Library will be closed for Veterans Day on Monday, November 11.