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County, community libraries working to improve unclear relationships among them

Jun 24, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Building relationships with community libraries throughout Fremont County is becoming a priority for the Fremont County Library System.

The county network contains three official branch libraries, but other community libraries exist and are not affiliated with the county.

Library representatives from Hudson, Crowheart, Shoshoni, Fort Washakie and Jeffrey City brainstormed how the organizations could work together during the Fremont County Library System Board of Trustees meeting June 4 in Riverton.

System director Tracy Cook said the cooperation between community and county libraries has been fuzzy.

"I want to bring it into focus and clarify," Cook said. "I don't want to necessarily find a solution (today) but discuss who does what and what the needs and concerns are."

Topics of discussion included sharing resources, becoming more acquainted with each other's libraries, and making it easier on patrons to check out books throughout the system.

"As partners and sharing resources, it gives small libraries backup and a way to look for advice," said Mary Ann Robeson, Hudson Yablonski Community Library manager.

Representatives also spoke about getting library cards that could be used at any of the county facilities, and they added that the task of cataloging books is a concern for the community libraries whose workforce consists largely of volunteers.

The representatives decided to create a work group that would look into the concerns and suggestions and then present solutions at a later date.

"I think the (Fremont County) Commission will be thrilled overall to hear this and see this going on," said Commissioner and library board liaison Stephanie Kessler. "I think this is very positive."