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Government

Switch from RiverShare to PrairieCat Starts

In a couple of months, library patrons in the Illinois Quad Cities will no longer have access to items from local libraries in Iowa. Last fall, the local Illinois libraries announced they are leaving the consortium called "RiverShare" to join a larger system known as "PrairieCat."

Moline Library Director, Bryon Lear, says after Friday, local patrons with Illinois library cards will not be able to place holds on books, CDs, DVDs, and other items held by libraries in Scott, Muscatine, and Clinton counties.

RiverShare libraries offer more than two million items, while PrairieCat libraries share around five million. Lear also says items placed on hold may be delivered faster. And problems with the contractor that delivers RiverShare items are part of the reason for the change.

Sue Mannix, Director of the Bettendorf Library, says the decision is "regrettable" since it will end a 50-year history of sharing materials. But the local libraries in Iowa won't end RiverShare.

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Ten Iowa libraries will continue the same services on our side of the river. All of those benefits is maintained.

For the next month, Lear says library staff will be trained to use PrairieCat, and the system will be tested. Then on May 17th, Illinois Quad Cities patrons should be able to search the catalog and place holds. They'll also be able to pay fines and fees online.

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