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News Release

News Release

RELEASE DATE: August 4, 2011

Contact: Pamela Kiesner
Bellingham Public Library
(360) 778-7221
pkiesner@cob.org

BELLINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY FORGES CONNECTIONS
WITH LOCAL COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY

Students, staff, faculty, and neighborhood residents are now able to pick up public library holds at two new locations on local campuses, thanks to agreements between Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham Technical College (BTC), and Western Washington University (WWU). 

Modeled on Bellingham Public Library's successful WCC Connection, the BTC Connection and WWU Connection allows public library cardholders to place holds on any item in the public library catalog and select BTC or WWU as a pickup location. Public library staff deliver holds to BTC and WWU weekly, and pick up any returns to bring back to the Central Library. Returned items are back-dated at check-in to the last pickup date, so patrons do not incur unnecessary fines.

"The BTC and WWU Connections are the latest examples of ways the Bellingham Public Library is working closely with local academic institutions to increase access to public library materials," said Pam Kiesner, Library Director. "This will also help the public cut down on driving -- we move the materials for you, and you pick them up at the location that's most convenient to you."

Chris Cox, Dean of Western Libraries, said, "This new service and collaboration with the Bellingham Public Library continue to demonstrate our commitment to being a community information resource. It also allows us to expand access to recreational and local materials to members of the Western community".

The WWU Connection is located on the main floor of the Wilson Library, in an alcove across from the Wilson Library Media Desk. Patrons will find their holds on the adjacent shelves and use the WWU Connection workstation to check them out. Items can be returned to any Western Library circulation desk or drop box, or to any other library drop box in the community.

At Bellingham Technical College, people will find the BTC Connection in the Magazines and Journals Room of the BTC Library, which is currently located in Building A, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue. Items can be returned to the desk or to the drop box outside the main entrance. When Bellingham Technical College is closed for quarter breaks, all holds will be kept at the Bellingham Public Library for pickup.

Students have always been able to get a library card to check out materials from Bellingham Public Library. In 2006, Bellingham Public Library debuted the WCC Connection at the Whatcom Community College Library to give northside residents and the WCC campus community closer access to public library services. Last September, local libraries announced the One Card program, which allows non-student Whatcom County residents to apply for library cards at each college and university library in the area--at no charge. Now, the new Library Connections are taking it one step further by delivering public library materials right to campus.

Jane Blume, the Director of the Bellingham Technical College Library, believes the BTC Connection will greatly expand the resources available to students and faculty alike. "Our faculty, staff and students are excited to have this increased access to the public libraries' resources. We welcome the Birchwood, Columbia and Alderwood neighbors to take advantage of this new service and our library's unique collection," she said.

Library administrators look forward to a day when all area libraries could share an integrated library computer system so that holds could be placed on academic library items for pickup at public library locations -- and the whole holds process could flow more seamlessly.

"It's baby steps for now," said Kiesner, "but from our experience in partnership with Whatcom Community College, we believe the public will really benefit from these two new community connections."

For more information, contact: Bellingham Public Library 360-778-7323
Bellingham Technical College Library 360-752-8383
Western Libraries 360-650-3050

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