Library patrons will benefit from the latest partnership between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS).
Through ArkReach, a new joint online program, UALR staff and students can use their university-issued library cards to borrow and return select materials from CALS without ever visiting one of the system’s branches. Similarly, CALS patrons can reserve and receive UALR materials without setting foot on campus.
“No longer will CALS patrons have to place interlibrary loan requests and then wait to borrow books from UALR,” said Carol Coffey, head of CALS’ Library Resources and Digital Services. “ArkReach will allow them to place holds on the UALR materials themselves and receive the books in just a few days as easily as they receive books from other CALS branches.”
The program increases the accessibility of materials like fiction, videos, and CDs for UALR’s faculty and students, while giving CALS patrons an opportunity to reserve some scholarly materials unique to UALR. It’s available through the online catalog of both institutions.
“We are pleased that ArkReach will expand our partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System and enhance our commitment to our students, faculty, and university community,” said Deborah J. Baldwin, associate provost of UALR Collections and Archives.
“In times of increased materials costs, partnerships like this one offer a smart way to expand the institutions’ already rich collections.”
While the program currently is a partnership between the two institutions, those involved hope to extend its scope — and its benefits — throughout the state of Arkansas by welcoming other library systems in the future.
The official launch of ArkReach coincides with another cooperative effort of the institutions: CALS Library Card Day at Ottenheimer Library on the UALR campus.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, UALR students and staff can sign up at the campus library for a CALS card. The card entitles users to free online access to music, movies, magazines, TV programs, eBooks and audiobooks as well as the entire CALS collection.
On Thursday, CALS staff members will demonstrate the online features available through its network, and Ottenheimer staff will provide demonstrations of ArkReach.
UALR is a metropolitan research university that provides a quality education through flexible learning and internship opportunities. In addition to its main Little Rock campus, 2801 S. University Ave., the university includes the William H. Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Ave., Little Rock, and the UALR Benton Center, 410 River St., Benton.