In 2009 we began a new program by collectively hiring an IT company to satisfy many of our computer management needs and to work toward even greater resource sharing through our use of technology. This is a unique use of county funds and has been lauded by Iowa Library Services staff and used as a model for the potential of countywide collaborative partnerships. Through a maintenance agreement with a local IT company, each library receives one "task day" per month and 24/7 support at no additional cost to the library.
For a number of years the WCPLA has helped to offset continuing education costs for its libraries by reimbursing a set amount so staff can attend trainings and conferences.
WCPLA focuses on making digital resources available and accessible to the residents of Washington County. It funds participation in the WILBOR downloadable e-book and e-audiobook program for all three libraries so Washington County residents can access our digital library collection from the comfort of home. WCPLA also funded a heavy-duty disc cleaner for each location so the libraries can keep their books on CD and DVDs in good shape and circulating. Finally, the WCPLA has recently funded a downloadable magazine platform for all 3 libraries called Zinio. Anyone with a library card can access our digital magazine collection.
Programming is becoming a more essential component of the public library service model each year. Popular programs include movie nights and summer reading programs. The WCPLA funds the movie licenses for the 3 Washington County public libraries so we can show movies legally to the public. It also funds one summer reading performer for each library per year, so the libraries can bring high-quality, entertaining, and educational performances to the children of Washington County.