EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 3, 2011

Budget cuts hit library loan program

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Lois Freeson, assistant director of Nesmith Library in Windham, said more than 4,000 books passed between the library and others in 2010. The change is going to affect a lot of people in town, she said.

"We're just going to have to adjust," she said. "We get a lot of materials for homeschoolers in town who depend on interlibrary loans for books. We also service quite a number of students who return to school as adults or go to local colleges. In times of economic downturn, people turn to the libraries because they can't afford to buy books, or they may need books on job hunting and resumes."

She said now if the library doesn't have the book, people will just have to wait.

"Our patrons will have to be more patient," she said.

Hampstead Public Library Director Peggy Thrasher said the library moves about 65 books each week through the interlibrary program.

"I think reducing interlibrary loan is the wrong place to save money," she said. "If someone asks for something on an interlibrary loan now, it will get here in a week," she said. "After we're reduced to one van a week, it may take two to two and a half weeks to get here. If we request something from Sandown on Wednesday, it will get picked up on the next Tuesday and delivered to us the Tuesday after that."

The state library is doing its best to make the cuts the Legislature requested.

"We are working with the libraries to mitigate the situation as best we can," York said. "We have to cover everyone because all citizens in the state are entitled to good library services. Our goal is that no library would lose its services completely,"

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