The Santa Barbara Public Library will transition to a new independent catalog system | Local News
The Santa Barbara Public Library announced Tuesday that it will transition from the Black Gold Library Cooperative system to a new independent catalog system in fiscal year 2023, beginning July 1.
The Black Gold system, which is used to find and borrow books, has allowed the Santa Barbara Public Library to share books and materials with other Black Gold libraries, including those in Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Saint Paula.
Since the Santa Barbara Public Library is not renewing its membership in the Black Gold Cooperative, these materials from other member libraries will no longer be available to Santa Barbara Library patrons, but Shelly Cone, public information officer for the city, said the library would continue to expand its collection.
“We have the funding to do this, so we’re confident we’ll be able to meet our customers’ needs,” Cone said.
According to a statement from the City of Santa Barbara, the change will improve statistical reporting, allowing library staff to customize their collection to better meet community interests and needs, as the current catalog system does not distinction between books borrowed by local customers and those lent to other libraries.
“A change was necessary in order to provide the breadth of services we wanted to offer our customers, and our vision was at odds with the direction other Black Gold member libraries wanted to take,” said the library manager, Jessica Cadiente, in the press release.
Cone said there will be no loss of service for local library users and the most, if not the only, change users will notice is the lack of interlibrary loan.
“There are a lot of benefits to this – one of the biggest for us is the ability to be more inclusive with our collections,” Cone said. “It will provide a better experience for our unique community.”
In addition to being able to customize the library’s collection, the change will help the Santa Barbara Public Library better accommodate its Spanish-speaking users and provide a more convenient experience for those patrons, Cone added.
“We are really excited about these changes. The Santa Barbara Public Library has been a strong advocate for these changes,” Cone said. “The change really means that other libraries won’t have access to our physical books and our customers won’t be able to access books from other libraries, but the service for our customers will only get better because we’ll invest that which we have paid to Black Gold in our libraries and collections.
Cone also confirmed that Santa Barbara Public Library customers will still have access to Hoopla, Overdrive and other digital programs that allow users to borrow eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media.
“Not renewing Black Gold membership is in the best interests of the Santa Barbara Public Library in terms of cost and operational efficiency,” the library’s website states. “Costs will increase by at least $78,000 due to the removal of the SLO library from the co-op. [if the Santa Barbara Public Library stays in the Black Gold Cooperative] … After San Luis Obispo, the Santa Barbara Public Library has the highest collection budget and purchases the most new printed materials each year.
To ease the transition, the library suspended borrowing materials from other member libraries last week.
The city of Goleta sent out a statement on Friday saying that its library, along with libraries in the Santa Ynez Valley, will remain partners of the Black Gold Cooperative.
With the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo libraries leaving the system, changes to the remaining Black Gold member libraries include that patrons can no longer reserve items or renew items owned by the Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo libraries, therefore the Goleta Valley Library asks patrons to return these items before their due date.
After June 30, items borrowed from the Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo libraries cannot be returned to Goleta or Santa Ynez Valley branches.
The Goleta Valley Library also announced on Friday that on April 25, it will transition its circulation system to Koha, an open-source software. The Goleta Library will also have an increased book budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.