NC LIVE and Polk Public Library celebrate 15 years of collaboration

Published 9:22 am Monday, April 22, 2013

This month marks NC LIVE’s 15th anniversary as a statewide collaborative library organization.

First launched during National Library Week in 1998, NC LIVE has consistently provided online library resources and tools to patrons of North Carolina’s public and academic libraries, including the Polk County Public Library.

Today’s world of always-online smartphones and ubiquitous Wi-Fi differs greatly from the online landscape faced by North Carolina libraries in 1998 when NC LIVE was first founded. A Pew Research Center report from that year showed only 41 percent of American adults used the internet, 35 percent used email, and only 13 percent had ever made an online purchase. But in 1998, librarians from North Carolina’s public and academic libraries recognized the change that the internet represented, and worked to ensure that their communities would benefit from it. Together, these libraries created NC LIVE, enabling access to premium digital information for all of North Carolina citizens through their libraries.

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For the last 15 years, North Carolina’s public and academic libraries have worked together through NC LIVE to provide the entire state with equitable access to electronic resources for all ages on topics ranging from business, careers and investing, to auto repair, health, history and genealogy.  This cooperation means that library patrons from Murphy to Manteo have access to the same collection of high-quality content, from any computer with internet access.

“NC LIVE has increased the quality and reach of the collections of libraries statewide,” said State Librarian Cal Shepard. “But above and beyond that, it has created a real community, and increased collaboration between public and academic libraries. The ‘all for one, one for all’ model prevails here in North Carolina, and I’m proud of that.”