Representatives of private, public and school libraries in Utah County have formed an association to facilitate cooperation and better use of resources at libraries throughout the county.
The Utah County Library Association, formed in March, met recently at the Orem City Center to adopt a constitution and bylaws. Libraries represented at the meeting included Utah Valley Community College Library, American Fork Public Library, Orem Public Library, Pleasant Grove Public Library, Alpine School District libraries, Provo School District libraries, Dynix, Brigham Young University's Law and Harold B. Lee libraries.Membership in the Library Association is open to any person interested in the work of libraries in Utah County, according to the association's bylaws.
"In most counties in the United States, public systems work separately from school and private libraries," said Julie Farnsworth, American Fork Librarian, following the meeting. "We're so divided and funding is so spotty (in Utah County) - that is really the impetus to get together and try to coordinate resources, both human and physical."
Farnsworth is serving as interim president until the association elects officers at its first annual meeting, July 14, at the new Provo City Library.
Individual libraries may be able to gather strength in different areas and then share those resources through the "mega system" created by the association, Farnsworth said. For example, one library would focus on business-oriented texts and resources while another focuses on fiction texts; such specialized collections would then be made available to patrons of all libraries in the county.
"Most urban counties in the state have a representative from each system (public, private and school) meet monthly in the Utah Library Association," Farnsworth said. "But some things are not addressed there that need to be addressed on a local level."
Farnsworth said formation of a Utah County Library Association was proposed by public library directors in the county, who had been meeting together for several months.
In addition to election of officers at the July meeting, the association will form three task forces to work on the group's main objectives. Also, seminars will be conducted on various topics - such as book repair, use of computers in libraries and new items for libraries.
-Provide forum for exchange of information and ideas
-Facilitate cooperation among libraries in Utah County
-Foster spirit of fellowship among library workers
-Encourage and support development and professional growth of library workers