The Portland Public Library.

A new pilot program kicks off this week that aims to improve lending options for Maine library patrons.

Maine State Librarian James Ritter said what makes reciprocal borrowing possible is that these libraries all share the same library software.

“All of the libraries have a 14-digit barcode on their cards,” Ritter said. “They share the same library software system, and that’s what enables a library patron from one library to go into another.”

Ritter said administrators plan to analyze the program and determine what works well and what might need to be adjusted. He said it’s hoped that more Maine libraries will take part in the future.

A list of participating libraries is available from the Maine State Library. They include the Portland Public Library and the Bangor Public Library.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.