(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 26, 2013)
Beginning Jan. 1, the system through which patrons can check out items from libraries other than their own will be changing throughout Michigan. Those who wish to borrow items will need to stop by their home library and get either a new card or a sticker to be part of the new program.
According to Michigan.gov, “Michigan eLibrary Catalog and Resource Sharing system (MeLCat) is an online catalog and delivery service that allows patrons of hundreds of participating Michigan libraries to borrow materials – books, movies, CDs and more – from all over the state and have them delivered to their home library.”
The old MichiCard system required patrons to travel to other libraries, whereas with the new system, this is optional if the library has “visiting patron” status. Rochester Hills and Oakland Community College currently offer visitors to check out materials in person.
MeLCat participants without the visiting patron option include: Ferndale, Hazel Park, Oak Park, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Madison Heights, Southfield, Bloomfield Township, Pontiac and Novi. For a complete list visit http://elibrary.mel.org/screens/participating.html. For these libraries, requested items will be sent right to the patron’s home library for their convenience.
The Ferndale Public Library issued a statement explaining the new program and asking patrons to stop at the circulation desk if they would like a sticker to allow them to participate. Patrons of other libraries are encouraged to check with their home library to see if a new card or sticker is needed.