Legislation relating to Maine Libraries

LD 1149, An Act to Strengthen Resource Sharing and Access to Library Materials Among Maine Libraries

Van Delivery and Inter-Library Lending: $75,000 (general fund ongoing)

Statewide Interlibrary Loan Van Delivery Service is a voluntary service where participating libraries use a courier to deliver library books and materials to facilitate interlibrary lending and borrowing throughout the State of Maine. This program is administered by the Maine State Library and partially funded by the State Library General Funds, federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as well as the participating libraries.

  • 190 libraries currently participate (160 public libraries).
  • Seeks $75,000 additional to cover growth of up to 75 libraries. This brings parity to the roughly 230+ libraries receiving internet connectivity via Maine School and Library Network (MSLN) and would work in conjunction of expansion of libraries into MaineCAT.

Digital Maine Library: $250,000 (general fund ongoing)

In 2018, The Maine State Library launched its longstanding virtual library, formerly known as MARVEL!, under the new Digital Maine brand. This one-of-a-kind online resource offers thousands of magazines, newspapers, and reference books to all Maine citizens. New content ranges from ‘how-to’ video tutorials, language learning, to small business support. Maine citizens can access the Digital Maine Library from wherever they are in Maine, thanks g geo-location authentication.

  • Digital Maine Library represents $1.2 million in statewide-licensed content subscriptions.
  • Additional needs remain to fully provide access to career/economic-development, and educational content.

Accelerating Libraries Access to Maine’s Central Catalog (MaineCAT): $500,000 (general fund one-time funds)

MaineCat Statewide Catalog links nearly 100 library collections contained in 7 large online library systems. A single search scans more than 5.2 million unique titles and over 9 million items. A built-in requesting and transaction management system allows patrons of libraries using a qualifying online system to make online interlibrary loan requests. Library staff can make requests on behalf of their users, as well.

  • 95 libraries in Maine have direct patron requesting via MaineCat (52 public libraries), representing nearly 58% (679,534) of Maine’s population.
  • In order to significantly accelerate the addition of more libraries into MaineCAT an investment must be made to provide catalog systems that can directly connect to this central requesting resource.
  • Maine’s smallest and most rural libraries are currently underrepresented in MaineCat. This initiative will target these libraries.

Responsibly Preparing for Our Future: $100,000 (general fund one-time funds)

Comprehensively planning for the future in order to responsibly administer resources requires thoughtful preparation and an in-depth analysis of statewide library services and resource sharing. This will allow for a professional, comprehensive analysis of trends and needs.

  • Harness Maine’s cooperative library spirit to better understand where opportunities exist for growth and what resources are required to support that growth.
  • Seek to understand community needs and how we can help libraries meet those needs.
  • Draw upon work done by other states to help structure a methodical and useful assessment of Maine libraries resource sharing needs.

See an example of planning report created for Massachusetts library system here: https://mblc.state.ma.us/ecosystem/ecosystem-report.pdf

How to provide input on library legislation

Call your local legislator

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Laws and Libraries