Wood County Libraries has temporarily started sharing items in replacement of the distribution system that has been suspended statewide.
Wood County Public Library Director Michael Penrod explained the current situation that prompted the change during Monday’s trustee meeting.
In July, the statewide contract for delivery of library materials was awarded by the Ohio State Library to a new courier. Since that time, customers have not received documents in a timely manner and have experienced much longer wait times for items.
The Ohio State Library has terminated that contract and will revert to previous mail, Penrod said.
“I am not giving this company custody of an additional copy of an item from the Wood County Public Library,” Penrod said.
A new, smaller system went into effect this week and was approved by library administrators.
“It takes a lot for the state to waive a two-year contract,” Penrod said. “We will continue to share material in our own little bubble. … We are taking preventive measures to avoid the chaos that we had before.
The county plan was created as a group effort by participating libraries. The new system is considered temporary and will continue until the new statewide replacement organization has taken over operations from the previous company. This process should be completed in May.
As of last week, there were still about 163,000 items in the state system that are considered “in transit,” and as the company’s contract comes to an end, more and more service disruptions have been observed, according to Penrod.
“Our consortia, which represent a significant portion of the state’s traffic, are taking even more steps to unclog the system,” he said. “This company continues to deliver every day, but we don’t give them anything else.”
The new Wood County system covers all eight independent public library systems in Wood County: Bowling Green, Grand Rapids, Kaubisch in Fostoria, Luckey, North Baltimore, Pemberville, Rossford, Stoney Ridge, Walbridge, Way in Perrysburg, Wayne, Weston and the Bookmobile. , as well as the McComb Library.
If a requested item belongs to one of the participating libraries, the reservation will be filled by one of the cooperating public libraries and the items will be delivered as quickly as possible to a new center located in Bowling Green.
Staff from each library will deliver bags of items to the center and pick up items for their respective libraries. If the item is not owned by a participating library, the hold will be placed with delayed delivery until the statewide system is operational again.
“We tell customers that if they need something, we’ll get it; if we need to purchase additional copies, we will,” Penrod said.
Regarding Wood County Libraries, he said they “have always partnered well and will continue to share.
“Let’s work our magic and find out,” Penrod said.