Is this the wave of the future? Multiple libraries working together to combine the efforts of their genealogy departments to the benefit of library patrons?
From an article by Will Sheeline published in the LI (Long Island) HERALD web site:
Numerous public libraries on the North Shore have banded together to offer library patrons a wider selection of virtual programs, forming the North Shore Programming Consortium.
Consisting of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich, Gold Coast, Bayville, Glen Cove and Locust Valley libraries, the consortium works together to promote virtual learning programs across the various municipalities that they serve. The consortium originated in January of 2022 in the Glen Cove Public Library’s genealogy research programs.
Lydia Wen, an archivist and librarian at the Glen Cove Public Library, explained that she initially began reaching out to the other libraries to consider forming the Genealogy Collective, which served the dual purpose of promoting library programs during the pandemic while also spreading the word across a wider audience.
“We formed the Genealogy Collective so that the programming will be online and we’ll be doing it once a month,” Wen said. “So now we could really go out and offer topics of so many different interests.”
Following the success of the Genealogy Collective, the directors and adult program organizers of the various libraries came together to expand their cooperation, forming the consortium. The five libraries agreed to have each choose and organize three virtual presentations on a variety of subjects.
Officially launching in June, the consortium has been a huge success, according to organizers. Clare Trollo, adult program coordinator at the Gold Coast Public Library, said that through their mutual coordination the libraries have been able to field a much wider range of presentations on a more consistent basis.
“It’s been fantastic, it really has,” Trollo said. “It just gives us the opportunity to bring more of a variety of programs to all of our patrons in a real cost-effective way for the libraries.”
Thanks to the teamwork between the libraries, all have seen attendance for these presentations skyrocket, some more than doubling from an average of 15 attendees to as many as 50. The response from the public has also been positive.