New library card offers more choices
People can access physical collections and programs in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, and Strathcona County too
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 06:00 am
While the St. Albert Public Library continues to work on solving its space crunch, it has come up with another behind the scenes solution to broaden its patrons’ choices.
It’s called the ‘me’ card and it means that any registered user can gain access to all libraries in the metropolitan area, including Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan and Strathcona County. What’s even better is that it’s all accomplished with the same card.
If you ask library director Peter Bailey about what this means in terms of numbers, he’ll tell you that it’s a major boost. “Our collections altogether are over three million,” he exclaimed.
This new program has been in the works for some time. The upgrade is free with any library membership and entitles users to borrow items from any of the four participating library systems. It only takes a simple online registration process to get started.
“The ‘me’ card removes barriers and offers patrons even more value from their library card: no more reciprocal fees, the ability to place holds on any books regardless of which library they belong to, and access to thousands of fun, educational and informative programs across the region,“ Bailey continued.
The barrier, he specified, refers to user fees. There’s no extra cost to be incurred to the users.
“The ‘me’ card will be especially useful to those who live in one town and work or study in another, with the ability to use whichever library is the most convenient on any particular day.”
There is a limit to the freedom, however. Licensing restrictions mean that eBooks and other digital content cannot be part of the new borrowing privileges. Instead, ‘me’ card users can access physical collections and even programs on offer throughout the specified region. They can also return their borrowed items to any of these libraries.
“It’s exciting to offer even more choice and convenience in both collection and location to library card holders,“ Bailey concluded, adding that there are already discussions about expanding the program across the province.
Patrons under 18 are able to have a ‘me’ card but they can’t register online because an adult must act as their guarantor.
People can also still access The Alberta Library (TAL) Card to obtain special borrowing privileges at all participating public, post-secondary and other libraries throughout the province. Details on that can be found at www.thealbertalibrary.ab.ca.
Library cards can be upgraded at www.melibraries.ca.
People can also learn more about the program at www.sapl.ca.