Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Funding eliminated for inter-library book loan program

The funding for Tennessee’s interlibrary loan(ILL) book program has recently been eliminated under a reorganization of the state’s library system. Under the ILL plan, libraries located in the counties of Northeast Tennessee are able to borrow and lend books for their patrons and are delivered via a statewide courier system.
Currently, when one library loans a book to another location within the ILL system, the State of Tennessee receives Federal funds that are used to reimburse both the lending and receiving facilities based on their usage. These monies are often used to purchase new books. According to Linda Icenhour, Director of Johnson County’s library, they received more than $2,000 this year to use toward new reading material. “We will have to find another source of income to buy books in the future,” she said. The program funding will be cut as of July 1, 2012.
According to Icenhour, the ILL program has been in place since approximately 1980.
“Because we are such as small library, we have always borrowed more books than we could loan,” she said. The Watauga Regional Center originally came up with the lending system currently in place, as well as the courier service initiated to cut down on postage to locations in the Watauga Regional Library. Requests from outside of the region are transported via the United States Postal Service. Under the new plan, a commercial company contracted through Tenn-Share will provide courier service. According to Icenhour, the information they have received indicates delivery to the libraries that participate in the ILL program will not change, as they will receive courier service twice a week. The State of Tennessee will incur these delivery fees.
There are currently approximately 30,000 items, including books and DVDs, available for patrons to borrow at Johnson County’s library.