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N.H.’s Library System has a 21st Century Problem: Computers

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New Hampshire State Library

New Hampshire libraries are working to fix interlibrary loan automation, which has been out of commission since December.


State Librarian Michael York says the basement of the State Library in Concord is where to find the depot for interlibrary loan in New Hampshire.


“The library system supports one another by lending materials,” York said.  



Credit Robert Garrova for NHPR
N.H. State Librarian Michael York stand in front of the yellow and blue sorting bins in the interlibrary loan depot.

That means transporting hundreds of thousands of books a year. But there’s a problem: the computer system that helps automate the process broke.


“This is a major problem for us,” York said. “The automated aspect of interlibrary loan has been a key feature since we automated in the early-80s.”


The show goes on though, it just means librarians are doing much more manual work to get your book to you. That means extra emails and phone calls from library to library to coordinate book distribution.

York says the funding to replace the system is available and they’re working as fast as they can to get it fixed.

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