LEWISTON — Users of the Lewiston and Auburn Public Libraries are now able to use their library cards to check out items at nearly 70 libraries across the state. The program is a part of a year-long pilot called the Maine Reciprocal Borrowing Program (MRBP) to create more cohesive lending across libraries. It is captained by the Maine State Library and Maine InfoNet, the organization which manages the Maine library systems.

MRBP will work like walk-in interlibrary loan. Library users will take their valid Lewiston/Auburn library cards to one of the participating library locations and check out an item of their choice. While reciprocal borrowing does not eliminate statewide interlibrary loan, this system reduces the need to order an item and wait for it to arrive for pick-up. It allows more freedom for library users who work, vacation or attend family obligations in other towns to still enjoy the benefits of library materials away from home. Many types of libraries are participating, including public, university, health and other specialty libraries, which will broaden the options for library users.

Library users will be subject to any policies the other libraries have, such as item limits, and must present a physical library card for checkout at another location to reduce potential issues or errors. APL and LPL have stickers with the program logo that they will be giving out to library users who would like one to be easily identifiable as a member of a participating library. Informational brochures and bookmarks will also be available at the lending desks as well as on the libraries’ websites.

For systematic reasons, not all libraries in the state are eligible to participate. A complete list of participating libraries and other program information can be found at www.maine.gov/msl/libs/reciprocal_borrowing.

Comments are not available on this story.