Scotland County Memorial Library is now a member of the NC Cardinal Library consortium, an alliance of North Carolina public libraries that share a common online catalog and integrated library system (ILS) that enables the sharing of resources among member libraries.
"You can now use your Scotland County Memorial Library card to check out material from any of the 134 consortium libraries statewide," said Library Director Leon Gyles. "That means instead of having access to only the 55,000 items in our collection, you'll have access to about 5.5 million items."
"One of the most exciting aspects of NC Cardinal is the sharing of items across our State," Gyles explained. "More than 60,000 items move among the member libraries each month."
Resource sharing, which launched in February 2013, had two immediate impacts on library patrons — hold request wait times were cut from an average of 6.5 days to 1.8 days at member libraries and patrons could access numerous materials that previously were not accessible.
Each morning, NC Cardinal libraries pull a list of hold requests from the ILS, package these items and ship them to their partner libraries in the consortium through a shared shipping account. Library customers enjoy this service at no cost.
One of the most practical advantages to being part of the NC Cardinal consortium is the leveraging of funds to improve efficiency and provide cost savings to the libraries. All expenses associated with NC Cardinal were initially funded through a federal grant. A consortium pricing structure is being implemented to provide sustainability and cost sharing. The cost of joining and the first two years membership in the NC Cardinal consortium is funded by grant monies.