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Merger expands patrons' access to materials

DANVILLE -- Starting next week, libraries around Central Illinois can expect a big change.
DANVILLE -- Starting next week, libraries around Central Illinois can expect a big change. More than 400 facilities will merge their systems.

They're forming the Illinois Heartland Library System. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw explains.

Patrons can now expect more access to more books; 10 million items in fact. One student says it's a dream come true. 9-year old Aniya Parker is a bookworm.

"It's just fun. It's interesting and if you're at home, doing nothing, you can read."

So, she can't wait for Danville Public Library's big switch. It's upgrading the catalog database system, merging with three others to cover the entire downstate area.

"The best part is that it's going to go from 200 libraries and 2 million books to 400-libraries and about 10-million books."

The new system is one of the largest in the country.

"We're breaking new ground by giving people this kind of access through the state of Illinois."

It's not just more information for patrons, but a quick and more efficient system for people behind the counter.

"There's a lot of information we don't have to go over several times or redo several times. It's right there for us."

It's a way for avid readers, like Aniya Parker, to travel the world.

"I think that's really awesome because I love to read and write."

Without ever leaving town. Currently, the library is transitioning to the new system next week. April 9, patrons will be able to check out books from all over.
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