Bridging libraries: the merger of a school district library and an academic library
Bailey, Gail C.
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In January 2008, The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS), and University of Maryland Libraries signed an agreement to merge the MCPS Professional Library collections, staff and services into USG’s library to provide enhanced library resources and services to both clienteles. Administrators and librarians of the three institutions have learned how to partner and collaborate in this unique environment, while maintaining library services to both the USG (academic) and MCPS (professional educator) communities. The collection merger required retrospective conversion of 15,000 records, conversion from Dewey to Library of Congress classification, and physical integration, without interruption of service. Library cultures (special vs. academic) were dramatically different and adjustments have been made to combine and share knowledge, while providing some distinctive services. Staff adjusted to new responsibilities and to working with different systems and new patrons. Now that the merger is complete, the immediate future is demanding new adjustments from each partner to improve some services already provided and to satisfy users’ expectations, while looking for new ways to enhance the outreach to this diverse clientele. The poster will present challenges faced in merging the two libraries, solutions developed, and impact on services for library users.
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