SALSA Library Network kickoff held

Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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Citizens of Farmville and Prince Edward County no longer have to travel from library to library seeking information, thanks to a new network of local libraries.

Approximately 60 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to mark the launch of what Longwood Library Dean Dr. Brent Roberts called “Southside Virginia’s spiciest library network, Southside Area Libraries Sharing Access – SALSA.”

The SALSA network, which includes a shared online library catalog and a weekly courier service, is the product of many conversations among local library leaders.

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Shaunna Hunter, Director of Bortz Library at Hampden-Sydney College, underscored the importance of libraries as community builders: “Ultimately that is what those of us who work in libraries are all about — we want to serve our communities.”

The SALSA online library system is overseen by Lynde Roberts, Technical Services Librarian at Bortz Library.

Central Virginia Regional Library Director Rick Ewing noted how rare this multi-institutional collaborative partnership is, stating: “A public university, a private college and a public library system forming a consortium — that doesn’t happen very often.”

Ewing went on to state that in spite of the system’s complexity, it was an easy process once the decision had been made, the vision shared and all involved worked together.

Encouraging all to be advocates for libraries in their community, Dr. Odessa Pride of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors said: “Being certain that I’m going to be able to get the information that makes me successful, that’s an awesome thought.”

The SALSA Network brings institutions and learning communities together to create new opportunities in Southside Virginia, according to Dr. Larissa M. Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Longwood. Library users may seek information to gain education, answer questions or to change their lives.

With a card from any of the SALSA libraries, library users may request materials using the online catalog and have them delivered to any of the partner libraries. For more information, ask your friendly neighborhood librarian.