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Creating a Multitype Library Online Catalog Consortium

Marilyn Mercado, University of Northern Iowa
Jan Dellinger, Hawkeye Community College
Paige Nangle, Cedar Falls Public Library

The session entitled “Creating a Multitype Library Online Consortium” was presented by representatives of The University of Northern Iowa, Hawkeye Community College, and Cedar Falls Public Library. These libraries make up the Cedar Valley Library Consortium. These libraries began sharing an INNOPAC system in 1996.

In this session, the presenters gave some background on their individual libraries and the nature of how their consortium and database is put together. The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) was an experienced Innovative customer who had to make various changes in their database to accommodate the holdings of the other libraries. Hawkeye Community College was first to discuss technology sharing with UNI since there was no statewide network of libraries. In light of problems with administrations at the libraries/ institutions the cooperative effort took much longer than expected. The consortium now has in place agreements and payment schedules for members and is governed by a council that is made up of two members of each library; not necessarily the director of the library.

The system they share is one system with scoped collections. The libraries share resources only through a traditional interlibrary loan program. Each library uses only the modules they need. UNI does all authority work for the other libraries for a fee. UNI assures quality control in the database. The group has its own listserv among the consortium members which aids in discussion and in establishing solutions to recurring problems.

There is also a systems helpdesk at the University, but there are procedures for on-site diagnostics to be performed before calling the helpdesk. The consortium has 130 simultaneous user licenses. When the consortium was formed and it came time for training, some training was purchased from Innovative, but UNI took responsibility for most of the training since they had already established procedures and policies for system use.

The participants were excited about their system and cooperation and were eager to share their story with those present. Several questions were posed and answered at the end of the session.

Recorded by: Jenny Horton, Holston Associated Libraries (HAL)

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