The Holy Grail of Library Automation: The Shared Library System

Over the last year, I’ve been working closely with consortia in my home state of California. I’ve participated in something of a “listening tour” to hear what is working and what isn’t working at the consortial level and to find out what they really need that the consortium could provide.

What I’ve learned is that it is very hard for get beyond the basics:  shared e-resources, shared delivery and networking with their peers. Initiatives much bigger than that, strike them as beyond the realm of possibility.  What I would love to see is some “hive mind” where the members suddenly become aware of their ability to address many of the challenges that hold them back with one big change – moving to a shared library system.

The shared library system is the holy grail of library automation. It’s awesome and yet so difficult to acquire. For libraries lucky enough to have gone down this path years ago, it might not seem so magical, but the shared library system has many wondrous qualities.

Resource Sharing and Physical Delivery Consultation

NorthNet Library System was seeking assistance evaluating their physical delivery options for libraries interested in joining the Link+ resource-sharing network.  Link+ is a very popular resource sharing network that is composed of a software component (INN-Reach by Innovative Interfaces) and physical delivery of items (provided by Tricor).  

The goal of the engagement is to develop a solution for fairly distributing the total cost of Link+ between existing Link+ libraries and the new ones so that no current library pays more than their current costs and to develop a delivery model for getting items where they need to be in an acceptable time frame.

Future of Illinois Library Cooperation: Exploring Effective, Efficient Service Models

The Illinois Library Association had been leading an effort to provide for cost-effective solutions to the changing library landscape in Illinois. After nine regional systems were merged into two (RAILS, and IHLS), they hired The Galecia Group to provide an analysis about how best to go forward with merging the delivery operations from each of the nine regions and to share best practices.