State Interlibrary Loan Program Starts Up Again 

Catherine Pegram

A stalled library book loan program is about to get moving again. The program normally circulates about 6,000 items every day among libraries in Maine. Until last month, when it was suddenly put on hold.Now workers at Records Management in Hampden are in the book business. The company was recently contracted to move requested materials among Maine’s 193 libraries.General Manager Michael Carroll says “It’s a great service is what we’re learning. And the service hasn’t been up and going since the middle of July when the current courier backed out of their service.”Carroll says his staff will now be responsible for criss-crossing the state for the interlibrary loan program. But it won’t be new territory.”Records Management has always covered the whole state because of our file deliveries and our and our shredding business so we’ve and our own courier service. So we’ve always had to cover the state of Maine. It’s just some places we get by weekly, but this has been a great relationship with the Maine State Libraries and us because now we’re touching just about every place, daily.”Librarians say that’s especially good news for people who’ve relied on the program – everyone from children to serious researchers. John Clayton has use the service for years. “You can have almost any library deliver something to your hometown library just like that. it’s been a real inconvenience I think that’s it’s been down lately.” Carroll says, “We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from the library – it’s like the nights in shining armor are coming in to help them out because the public has come to them. And from our understanding, the public really used this service quite a bit and it just stopped for them.”But with the help of a Hampdencompany, the swapping service will be back to normal next week – once again reconnecting patrons with their requests. Carroll says his staff has spent the last couple of weeks just trying to catch up with the back log of books and other materials waiting to go to various libraries. Once that’s done, daily loans will be back on track.