RiverShare, PrairieCat… Wait… So, what just happened?

MovingMany of you may have already heard that the Moline Library was going to switch from our old library group to a new one. You might have even known that the switch was happening TODAY (May 17). What you might not have known is what any of that actually means, or, more specifically, what it means to you. Luckily we are here to help.

What happened?

The Illinois libraries that were previously members of the RiverShare Libraries consortium (which would be East Moline Public Library, Henry C. Adams Memorial Library (Prophetstown), Moline Public Library, Robert R. Jones Public Library (Coal Valley), Rock Island Public Library, Silvis Public Library, River Valley District Library (Port Byron) and Sherrard Public Library) are leaving to join a new system called PrairieCat.

The Iowa libraries are staying together (minus St. Ambrose University Library) in RiverShare.

Okay. Why?

A couple of different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was to better serve you. RiverShare gave us access to a great deal of materials. Most were able to find what they were looking for somewhere it the system. RiverShare had 20 libraries located in a pretty small area. PrairieCat has around 140 libraries located all across northern Illinois. We have septupled the number of libraries we have access to.

Plus, while it is most certainly a bummer to lose the connection with our friends across the river (But wait! Are we really? More on this later…), we are reconnecting with many of our neighbors on this side of the river. Black Hawk College, Colona, Cordova, Geneseo, Orion, etc., are all already a part of PrairieCat!

What will change for me?

Initially, most of what you will notice is that the staff will take a few moments longer to look things up, check things out, place things on hold, etc., while we all try to acclimate to the computer system that came with the switch to a new library system and all the bugs are worked out. Your patience is greatly appreciated in advance – no really, you guys are great. Beyond that, you should notice that starting today we have a new library catalog. Whether you are online or in the library the page that you use to search for books is going to look a bit different. It essentially does everything that the old one did but it might take a bit to get used to. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to let us know and we will do what we can to help.

You will also notice, of course, that the libraries you see listed and that you are getting books from will be different from the libraries you have seen in the past. And about that Iowa libraries that you won’t be seeing on the list – we have worked out a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Davenport. While we still cannot place holds, your Moline Library card will work at Davenport libraries to check out books (and vice versa). The difference is that you are limited to checking out 10 items at a time and you have to go to Davenport to do it. Oh, and you would need to return the items there as well – there will be a $5 charge for every Davenport item that is returned on this side of the river (and vice versa). Perhaps not ideal, but it’s something.

And that’s that… or at least a brief, simplified version of that. We will keep you posted if/when there are updates but fingers-crossed for a smooth transition.

 

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