The Plan of Service Committee at the North Country Library System has been discussing expanding the services the two central libraries Watertowns Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library and Ogdensburg Public Library offer to more than 60 other community libraries in the region.
With the rise of e-book readers in an Internet-savvy generation, the committee is hoping to use state aid to purchase more nonfiction and reference works in the form of downloadable e-books to help the smaller libraries have better access to them. NCLS Director Stephen B. Bolton said the discussion has not reached the board of trustees yet.
The idea is that they would build a collection for the rest of the members to draw upon, he said.
According to the Central Library Plan of Service, available on the NCLS website, the committee has formed three goals: to expand reference services, to provide better access to library collections and to use library funds to expand electronic resources. Within the first goal, the idea of a virtual reference service is being explored.
Some of the members want the libraries spending more money on centralized bases, online databases, e-books and materials, Mr. Bolton said.
The intended result of the first goal is that public library patrons get answers to their reference questions in a timely manner, according to the plan.
The first two goals will require the number of nonfiction and reference requests generated throughout the library system to be compiled and presented to the NCLS Directors Organization at the October annual meeting. The third goal will depend on the library systems budget.
The timeline to reach the goals spans from 2012 to 2016.
Flower Memorial Library Director Barbara J. Wheeler said the Plan of Service Committee was created to help the library system deal with dwindling services. She said the committee will meet with several other libraries, including her own, in the next few weeks to discuss these new goals.
However, Mr. Bolton is not yet sure if the ideas will come to fruition.
Sometimes these discussions go on for months and months, he said. I dont even know if its going to see the light of day.