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By Tracy Ihnot

The focus in recent news about the libraries in Delta County has been on brick and mortar buildings and the challenge the library district faces in keeping five buildings open with declining or flat revenue and ever-increasing expenses.

In the on-going conversation about how to effectively provide library services in Delta County within extreme budget constraints, it is vitally important to remember that not all library services exist within a library building.

The online library, also known as the sixth library in Delta County, is a primary example of how 21st century libraries are providing services for patrons who never even walk into a library building.

“Our patrons can apply for a library card online,” says LaDonna Gunn, district director of Delta County Libraries. “We email them their library card information and they immediately have access to thousands of books and audiobooks, movies, music, research materials, and more. We have hundreds of patrons who never set foot in our buildings but are actively utilizing library materials and engaging with library staff.”


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