Guest Commentary: Directors address library consolidation discussion

This information is in response to several recent letters to the editor that have proposed the consolidation of libraries in Carson City. Our goal is to provide our community a better understanding of the types of libraries in Carson City. It is true there are libraries who serve the public in Carson City, but Carson City Library is the only “public library”. The other libraries are not “public libraries” and here is how they differ:Nevada State Library and Archives: NSLA serves patrons statewide with a focus on state (executive, legislative, judicial) and local government employees and patrons who need information regarding government services and information. It is funded under the executive branch and enabled by NRS 378. Its collections support efficient government decision-making and include unique state and local government information and databases.Western Nevada College Library: WNC serves seven counties: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing and Storey and maintains a branch library at the Fallon campus. WNC is funded by the Nevada System of Higher Education and ultimately governed by the Nevada Board of Regents. WNC’s service focus is students, faculty and staff and collections directly support the WNC curriculum.Nevada Supreme Court Library: Administered and operated by the Supreme Court as enabled by NRS 2.410. The library’s service focus is: the Supreme Court Justices and staff; Nevada State Bar, Nevada attorneys, the legislature and government entities and public who want to represent themselves in legal matters. Its collections are focused on legal research. The librarian serves at the pleasure of the Supreme Court.Carson City Library: Enabled by NRS 379 and funded by Carson City, the librarian works for the Carson City Library Board of Trustees who also has the policy authority. The public library serves persons of all ages regarding informational recreational and cultural resource needs. The collection and all services are designed to serve people from cradle to grave.An important distinction in this conversation is the Carson City Library Board of Trustees has sole authority over the Carson City Library. It does not have authority over “libraries” in Carson City.Carson City School District Libraries: The libraries in the Carson City School District are under the jurisdiction of the elected school board. The libraries’ primary focus is the educational needs of K-12 students in Carson City. Computers support the educational program and are distributed throughout all campuses.Cooperative Library Automated Network: Created by cooperative agreements under NRS 277.080-279.180, NRS 379.147 and NRS 379.150, CLAN is a system which shares a circulation, cataloging and acquisition system and numerous online databases. Carson City Library, Nevada State Library and Archives, Supreme Court Law Library, and other libraries located throughout the state are members of and provide funding for this cooperative.There is not enough commonality amongst the libraries to make consolidation feasible or efficient, where we can see economies of scale we have established cooperative relationships: shared online databases and CLAN services.Carson City, as the state capital, is fortunate to have as many libraries as they have because they all compliment and collaborate with each other — but they do not replace each other or lend themselves to be collapsed into one system.Daphne DeLeonadministrator Nevada State Library and ArchivesKen Sullivandirector Library & Instructional Technology, Western Nevada CollegeSara Jones, library director Carson City LibraryCory KingCarson High School Media SpecialistDana HinesCoordinator, Cooperative Libraries Automated NetworkGuy Louis Rochaformer Nevada State Archivist


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