By Tim Gardner
The Avery-Mitchell-Yancey (AMY) Regional Library System is broadening and expanding its services at each of the libraries it governs in the three North Carolina High Country counties in colossal ways. This is made possible by the regional system joining the North Carolina Cardinal Library Consortium, starting February 15th. NC Cardinal is a growing consortium of public libraries in more than 50 North Carolina counties dedicated to sharing resources and expanding access to library materials through the use of a single online catalog and a statewide library card.
Currently, the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library offers approximately 160,000 items in its collection. NC Cardinal has a whopping 7.2 million in its catalog to share and when the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System fully migrates to NC Cardinal, patrons will gain access to all those catalog items.
The regional library system may have some services unavailable during its transition to NC Cardinal, from February 15th to it completely connects on February 21st. Still, anyone can check out items, receive holds ready for pickup, accessits public computers, connect to Wi-Fi and use printer/copier/fax services.
Those who want can officially begin using the new NC Cardinal software to manage checkouts on Thursday, February 18th. The online catalog will have a different look, but will function essentially the same as before.
On Monday, March 15 anyone can begin requesting and borrowing materials from any NC Cardinal Library with a library card. And those using the services can place holds online, by phone or in person for items to be sent from any NC Cardinal Library to your pickup library of choice in Avery, Mitchell, or Yancey County. Those using the library can also borrow and return materials to any NC Cardinal Library anywhere in the state. This is at no additional cost to library patrons.
“On behalf of all our library employees, board members and patrons, I’m elated about the opportunity for our library system to have the opportunity to join the NC Cardinal System,” said Amber Westall-Briggs, Director of the AMY System for the past six years. “The fact we will be going from an access of 160,000 volumes to more than 7 million is truly remarkable and one of the top happenings ever for our system and our libraries.”
Two primary changes library patrons using this new service can expect: (1) a new online catalog and (2) your password. Contact your local county’s library branch to reactivate your password on or after February 18th. The system will have many new features to take advantage and local library representatives can answer question about those.
But some protocol won’t change as patrons will continue to have first dibs on new books new movies and any other materials owned by the AMY Regional Library. The Libby/Overdrive account of patrons will not change, although their password will.
NC Cardinal was conceived in 2009 and formed in 2010 “to make the combined resources of North Carolina’s public libraries available to all people of the state. The program’s mission is to maintain and continually develop a working, efficient, and sustainable Integrated Library System (ILS) for public libraries and library staff within the state. In the soon-to-be eleven years of its existence, NC Cardinal has broadened its focus to include resource sharing, cost savings and collaborative collection development for half of the public libraries in the state.
The NC Cardinal project is made possible by funding from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). It is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-18-0034-18).
“The AMY Regional Library System is most thankful for the hard work and tireless efforts of many who help get the necessary funding so that we can be part of the NC Cardinal System,” Westall-Briggs added. “It was a true trickle effect from our state representatives and senators to many others who helped us achieve this absolutely golden milestone. We can never thank them enough.”
To help communities create and maintain a foundation for literacy, economic development and democracy.
The administration and staff of the AMY Regional Library strive to be an integral part of the daily lives of the residents in the counties it serves. Its officials cite a responsibility to provide all residents with unique and excellent educational, recreational, informational and cultural resources and services throughout each individual’s lifespan. By building collaborative relationships with other agencies and institutions which have similar missions and goals, the AMY Regional Library System works to enhance the services of both while making the most effective use of its financial support.
More details can be obtained by Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System patrons by calling your local public library: Avery Morrison (828) 733-9393; Mitchell Library (828) 688-2511; Spruce Pine Library (828) 765-4673; Yancey Library (828) 682-2600; and AMY Bookmobile & Outreach (828) 682-4476.