The Garland and Saline County Libraries are currently undergoing talks to create a regional library system between the two of them, according to a recent announcement from the Garland County Library. Garland County Library Director, Adam Webb and Saline County Library Director, Patty Hector, have worked together for years, but realized in recent months the amount of overlap between the two systems, be it in geography, services or ideals and began exploring the possibilities and benefits of merging them.
“This is a great opportunity for the Garland County Library to expand our material and service offerings, as well as fill in the gap for the residents of Hot Springs Village,”Webb said. “It will save us a lot of money, which we will use for new services and expanded offerings. It is a real win-win for both Counties.”
Following discussions with the public, staff and library boards, both library systems are now fully in support of the plan. Now, the objective of the talks is to draft a detailed agreement, which will then be submitted to the boards of both systems and the quorum courts of both counties. As the change is largely internal and administrative, little change will be obvious to the public on the organizational level. The change will be felt, however, as regionalization will combine their resources and programs, allowing them to share administrative costs, seamlessly move materials and operate services between them and expand the outreach of their programs. “We can’t see a downside to it,” Hector said.