Access resources statewide with your Delta County library card

By Tracy Ihnot


As summer reaches its apex and Delta County residents travel to other places, library card holders may be pleasantly surprised to find out that a library card from Delta County Libraries will provide them access to other libraries, reading materials, and online tools. Many people are aware they can request books from other libraries through interlibrary loan, but fewer know that a local library card entitles them to obtain additional library cards at other libraries or library districts within the state of Colorado.

"The Colorado Libraries Collaborate (CLC) is a reciprocal borrowing program," states Leah Morris, collections and systems administrator for Delta County Libraries. "It is unique in the way that it provides free access for all Colorado library users to library resources statewide."

The collaborative recently celebrated 25 years of providing services to support statewide resource sharing among libraries. According to their website, "The CLC program started because librarians in Colorado believe that residents should have the broadest possible access to library resources. Since it began in 1991, CLC has been adopted by all public libraries, the majority of school and academic libraries, and several special libraries and cultural heritage organizations."

As part of the collaborative, Delta County Library patrons can visit other communities throughout the state, go to the local library, and request a library card. This will give them access to library materials while they are in the area as well as continued access to online materials after returning to Delta County.

"This is a great opportunity, especially for our patrons who enjoy electronic resources, because CLC cards can be used to access other library websites even once you are home," Morris explains. "Most libraries maintain online collections of e-books, videos, music, classes, and more, and their selections can be different from ours."

The process for obtaining a card in another library district might vary slightly, but most require a library card from the patron's "home" library and a driver's license or state-issued ID. The library then issues a card or account number that allows access to their resources.

The CLC website, www.coloradovirtuallibrary.org, offers more information, as well as some useful suggestions for using the card. "You may return materials to any CLC member library. However, since the items are still checked out to you until they reach their original library, you may wish to return items early to avoid overdue fines."

To learn more about the CLC you can visit its website or contact your local library. And next time you leave home for far-off Colorado destinations, make sure your library card is in your wallet or on your keychain.