the future of libraries in the digital age
I work at the National Institute of Corrections Information Center, it is special library which is not open to the public. It lies within the National Corrections Academy and primarily serves students visiting from various areas of corrections (jails, prisons, probation, etc.), as well as online users. We do not currently have a formal check out process established for our collection, however we use do use Koha to catalog the collection. The unique thing about the Information Center is that, in addition to books, audio books, journals, and periodicals, there are NIC publications that are produced for distribution to students of the Academy and online users. These publications are free to the user, and are not required to be returned.
So here is my question: Does anyone know of another library that functions as we do, where there is a physical collection comprised of materials available for check out, as well as a collection of materials that are free for distribution?
Currently we are trying to establish inventory practices that provide statistics on where our NIC publications are going. We are able to keep statistics on items that are mailed to users via online request, through ZenDesk customer service software. However when students come into the library and take NIC publication off the shelf and walk out with them, we have no way of knowing stats on these materials.
No one on our staff could think of another library that functions the way we do, or provides such a large collection of materials free of charge. Does anyone here know of such a place? We are interested in seeing if anyone else has already established similar practices, or if we are going to have to solve this problem on our own.
I look forward to any and all input!