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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2009

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov

State Library’s book deliveries reach landmark

Santa’s not the only one busy preparing for important deliveries. The New Hampshire State Library estimates that sometime in the next few days, its statewide van delivery service will deliver this year’s 500,000th requested library item. This will be the second consecutive year that deliveries have topped a half-million.

The New Hampshire State Library’s van delivery service transports media—books, DVDs, CDs, periodicals and more—between New Hampshire’s libraries when they are requested by library patrons and librarians.

New Hampshire’s interlibrary lending system has come a long way from the original “Bookmobile” which began in April of 1938 as an experiment to help small, rural libraries in Carroll County supplement their collections with books delivered to them by state library staff. By June of that year, the service proved so popular that stops were added in Coös County; that September, stops in Sullivan County were also added. In its first nine months, the Bookmobile delivered nearly 2,000 books to readers who might otherwise have not had the opportunity to enjoy them.

Since this humble beginning, New Hampshire’s book-sharing network has evolved to serve 311 libraries across all counties of New Hampshire. Six vans cover a total of more than 200,000 miles each year, making 342 delivery stops each week. Each delivered item not only puts information into the hands of the person requesting it, but also saves the library that receives it money, because they don’t have to purchase and store the item, nor pay the costs associated with mailing it back to the library from which it was borrowed.

“The State Library’s van delivery program is proof positive that New Hampshire’s strong library network benefits every community in the state,” said Michael York, New Hampshire state librarian. “By helping our state’s libraries share resources, every community saves money while making their own libraries even better.”

The New Hampshire State Library promotes excellence in libraries and library services to all New Hampshire residents, by assisting libraries and the people of New Hampshire with rapid access to library and informational resources through the development and coordination of a statewide library/information system; by meeting the informational needs of New Hampshire’s state, county and municipal governments and its libraries; and by serving as a resource for New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/nhsl.

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