Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the decision by Cork City Council Library Service to join the Sierra National Local management system. The Council’s data for stock and for patrons, to is now contained on a national system, in terms of acquisitions, catalogue and circulation of books. Cllr McCarthy noted though that despite the potential of accessing books from across the country there are still some areas to bed in. “Some concerns have been raised by the Council’s library service and City Librarian. The SMS messaging system for patrons is not yet working in a satisfactory manner. There are concerns about data protection – incorporating personal data taken from the City Council database and incorporated into a national database. There are unnecessary restrictions on teenagers seeking to borrow books for e.g school projects. There is uncertainty about the new fine system. An unnecessarily high limit on items, which patrons may reserve (12 items)”.
Cllr McCarthy has called for ongoing cost benefit analysis of the new system; “Early indications show a heavy draw on Cork City Council library stick from patrons around the country; for every two requested by Cork City library patrons. There are five requests for Cork City library’s stock by patrons outside of Cork City. However, to be able to get books from any part of the country is a great asset to have; it is just important that the burden of cost is properly funded at national level. Cork City Libraries have been under a lot of funding pressures in past years, with staff levels not being renewed due to cutbacks and libraries like that planned for Mahon not getting off the ground”.