“All for one and one for all.”
Author Alexandre Dumas’ famous “Three Musketeers” motto is the perfect way to describe the Cochise County Library District’s “One Card” project, which received statewide recognition.
“One County, One Card” allows readers to use just one library card to access all 12 public libraries across the county. Thanks to its innovation, resourcefulness and improvement of services, the project has won a Summit Award from the Arizona Association of Counties.
The accolade follows another recent state award for the Library District, which saw the Elfrida Library team win the Arizona Library Association’s Volunteer of the Year title.
The One Card project was introduced earlier this year to provide easier access to public libraries. Before the program’s implementation, county residents could use any library, but they had to apply for a card at each location and manage separate accounts.
“This was confusing and inconvenient for patrons,” said Library District Director Amadee Ricketts. “All of the libraries wanted to offer a more seamless service to the public, so in 2017, we committed to working together to get it done.”
The Library District operates rural branch libraries in Bowie, Elfrida, Portal, Sunizona and Sunsites. The seven municipal libraries in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Huachuca City, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Willcox are independent members of the Library District, with each location funded and operated by its own town or city. Substantial coordination was required to allow One Card to move forward.
The libraries adopted a modern online catalog system, dropped restrictions on circulating new items between branches, began accepting credit cards, and eliminated old and inactive accounts. This was followed by a database update to allow patron information to be viewed at any location.
“Residents have been very pleased with the changes,” Ricketts said. “This project would not have been possible without our wonderful partners at the municipal libraries, the staff and volunteers at our rural branches, and the hard work of Library District staff. It was a pleasure to accept the Summit Award on their behalf.”
To find the local library and to learn about countywide services visit https://cochiselibrary.org.