Sarasota County libraries cited as example of excellence by national publication

Selby Library in downtown Sarasota is part of the award-winning Sarasota County Library System. Photo by Norman Schimmel

The Sarasota County Library System has been receiving national recognition from the America Library Association’s official publication, “Public Libraries,” for a program that has resulted in increased availability of items in the libraries where they are in demand, a higher potential for personal customer service and decreased cost, Sarasota County Government has announced.

Four years ago, the Sarasota County Library System changed how it keeps items on the shelves of its nine libraries, a county news release notes. Previously, items borrowed from one library and returned to another were shipped back to the originating library. The switch to a floating collection process resulted in returned items staying put in the libraries where they are returned, the news release points out.

“The floating collection has been so successful that some library systems across the country have followed Sarasota County’s lead and implemented the process,” the news release says.

The Sarasota County Library System’s floating collection is featured in the “Public Libraries” article written by Sarasota County Library Public Services Manager Andrea Ginsky.

“To be recognized by your peers is one of the highest honors we can receive,” said Ginsky in the news release. “Our staff has successfully responded to every challenge with great teamwork and energy, resulting in improved efficiency and enhanced customer service.”

Other recent highlights of the library system include the opening of the Osprey Library and a new Teen Center at Selby Library, the 50th anniversary of Elsie Quirk Library in Venice, approval of the design for the new Gulf Gate Library and the library system’s selection as the 2012 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association.

The article, “Take the Plunge!,” features success stories from five library systems in the United States and Canada that have implemented floating collections, the news release says.

“Public Libraries” is the official journal of the Public Library Association and the only American Library Association journal devoted exclusively to public libraries, the news release points out. Each issue includes industry news, PLA and ALA updates and columns and feature articles that offer strategies and ideas for enhanced public library services.