New public library standards take effect in 2011

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Press release from the Indiana State Library:

New public library standards take effect in 2011
Revised standards enhance access to online services and library collections

(INDIANAPOLIS – January 22, 2010) The Indiana Library & Historical Board on January 15, 2010 voted unanimously to adopt revised public library standards that take effect on January 1, 2011 pending approval from the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General. The revised standards focus on enhancing public library patrons’ access to online services and library collections.

“The revised standards address future challenges of connecting library patrons to digital-age information and technologies,” said Roberta L. Brooker, State Librarian. “The Internet was a game-changer for public libraries, which today are much more than bricks and mortar depositories of books. Libraries are community centers that connect Hoosiers to endless sources of information and activities all in one location.”

Notable changes to public library standards include:

  • Access to Online Catalogs – This standard addresses the need for every library to have a functional website with an online library catalog that can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. The Indiana State Library provides a free website service (Access Point) and free online catalog system (Evergreen Indiana) to assist libraries in meeting this standard.
  • Public Access Terminals – Public libraries will provide public access computers with a minimum Internet connection speed of 1.5 MBps per fixed location. Libraries will also meet a minimum amount of accessible public assess terminals determined on the class (based on population served) of the library.
  • Free Statewide Interlibrary Loan – Patrons will have access to holdings of other Indiana public libraries free of charge (other than reimbursement for direct photocopy and postage costs) via statewide or local reciprocal borrowing agreements.
  • Minimum Hours of Service – Libraries will be open to the public at least 20 (Class C) to 55 (Class A) hours a week and maintain a minimum amount of evening (after 6:00 p.m.) and weekend hours.

The revised standards were drafted by the Public Library Standards Committee, which consisted of representatives from the State Library, Indiana Library Trustee Association and the Indiana Public Library Association.

“I greatly appreciate the effort of the public library trustees and directors who vigilantly identified standards that move Indiana’s public libraries forward,” said Brooker. “Indiana is a national leader in the provision of library services and these new standards position our libraries to remain among the best for years to come.”

For more information and the latest copy of new standards rules, click here.


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