A catalog of nearly 5 million items – from books to DVDs – will be created next year when the city and county of St. Louis integrate their library systems.
The two do not combine libraries, but they make it easier for residents to access documents, they said in a press release on Wednesday.
If a person in southern Saint-Louis, for example, wants to borrow an unavailable book from the municipal library, they can request it through the new integrated system and it will be delivered to a nearby municipal library.
Customers will be able to use their available library card and will not need to get a new one.
City and county libraries have shared resources for approximately 28 years through a reciprocal loan agreement. But city users generally had to travel to the county and vice versa.
The new shared catalog will be made available using Polaris Integrated Library System (ILS), a product of Innovative Interfaces Inc. A county library spokesperson said that sharing a system would allow the two libraries to ‘to save money.
The total cost for the two library systems is $ 298,000 per year, not including one-time migration and implementation costs, Jennifer McBride, communications manager for the county library. The county system will pay $ 193,000 and the municipal library will pay $ 105,000. “This is less than what each library currently pays for their ILS software,” McBride said via email.