On July 20, the Bethel Library Association (BLA) will be joining MILS, a consortium of libraries in Maine. This is great news because it means Bethel Library patrons will have access to the collections of all the joined libraries. There are currently 30 libraries in the MILS, with more due to be added. Bethel Library patrons will be able to use the MILS catalog to search for, and place holds on, books, DVDs, and other resources from our own catalog as well as the collection of these 30 other libraries. The wait for popular titles will be reduced and the range of titles available will be increased.

The Bethel Library will be increasing the maximum number of titles a patron can check out from five to ten. Additionally, all items will be able to be checked out for 21 days, an increase of seven days for books, and nineteen days for DVDs!

To prepare for this transition, patron and circulation records will be exported out of the current system and imported into the new system. While this process is ongoing, the BLA staff will be recording all circulation transactions (returns and check-outs) manually, so please bear with them during this time! The transition will begin on July 14 and end on July 20, with the new system going live on July 20. Once the transition is complete, the BLA plans to hold patron training sessions at the Library to demonstrate how to search for and reserve books in the MILS catalog. Please stay tuned for dates and times.

Library patrons will receive a new library card, with a new number when they visit the library after the switch. Patrons will be able to receive notifications about their holds and due dates via email or text message. Patrons should make sure the BLA has a current email address and phone number on file. This will ensure that patrons do not miss any notifications.

Please stop by the Bethel Library to find out more information. This transition is exciting because it will provide access to a much wider range of titles and resources.

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