Province-wide library loan system collapses

John M. Cuelenaere Public Library director Alex Juorio. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

Last week, true crime aficionados could have requested the award winning Homicide by David Simon, or perhaps The Killing Season by Miles Corwin, and had them shipped straight to the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.

From now on, those books will stay on the shelves of the Saskatoon Public Library, as Saskatchewan’s province-wide loan system breaks down.

On Monday, The Saskatchewan Information and Library Services Consortium announced that it will disable the ‘One Province, One Library Card’ program, which allowed borrowers to place holds on any of the 3,600,000 items in public libraries across the province.

Now, Prince Albert readers will have access to just over 500,000 items – the collection of the Wapiti Regional Library.

The move officially takes effect next Monday, but the program is already dead. Regional and municipal library systems have started holding back on their collections, says JMC Public Library director Alex Juorio, for fear that they won’t get their materials back.

“Right now, they’re no longer shipping holds,” he said. “So even if you were to go on the system and frantically place holds, the owning library would see that it’s for a location outside their area and not send it.”

For more on this story, see the April 5 print or e-edition for the Daily Herald.