Letter: We’re Automated, Thanks to Howe Library

To the Editor:

Dec. 6 was an exciting day at the Meriden Library. On that day, we became, for the first time ever, an automated library. This has been a long-time goal for our library, and we are thrilled that it has come to fruition.

We would not have been able to reach this goal without the help and support of the Howe Library and the town of Hanover, and we want to express our thanks and gratitude for their “pay it forward” philosophy. Automating a library can be prohibitively costly for a small, rural library like the Meriden Library. In 2010, the Howe Library went through a conversion to the open-source software Evergreen and formed the Howe/Evergreen Project, inviting other libraries in New Hampshire to share resources. By joining this project, the Meriden Library has access to first-rate system software at a very reasonable cost. The cost to automate our library became affordable because of a shared database and because Howe Library staff provided support and training.

In 2013, our sister library, the Philip Read Memorial Library in Plainfield, will also “go live” with Evergreen. All library patrons in the town of Plainfield will have access to an online shared catalog when both of their libraries, the Meriden Library and the Philip Read Memorial Library, complete the switch to automation.

I personally would like to thank Mary White, Howe library director, and Pamela Soren Smith, Howe’s technical services librarian, for their time, encouragement and support. I hope that as other libraries join the Howe/Evergreen Project that the Meriden Library can “pay it forward” by offering the same.

Mary Sullivan King

Director, Meriden Library