Terry Beck, the Information Services Manager for Sno-Isle Libraries north of Seattle, knows firsthand how to deal with logistical nightmares. Beck is responsible for serving approximately 697,000 people in two counties across twenty-one community libraries. To complicate matters further, Beck lacks a central or main library location from which to work and was quickly running out of room for reference materials.
When Beck began searching for a digital solution she encountered some resistance to virtual reference materials from librarians who were loyal to traditional print materials. That changed quickly though once Beck’s coworkers were introduced to a digital solution that would forever change the way Sno-Isle libraries served its communities.
To grow the library system’s reference collection despite a lack of space, Beck turned to Cengage Learning’s Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), a cloud-based provider of digital research and educational resources to libraries. GVRL provided Beck the solution her unique problem required. The digital platform also quickly won the hearts and minds of other library staff who once preferred traditional print reference materials.
The library’s virtual reference collection has grown steadily over the past eight years and Beck and her team expect the collection build out to continue. The GVRL platform is also helping meet the changing needs of the community.