Illinois Heartland Library System has embraced the mission of helping libraries share materials and promoting this value-added service to Illinois residents.
In an ever-changing and budget-restricted world, we sometimes hear – “What are the benefits of cooperative resource-sharing?”
Here are just a few examples of what resource-sharing does for residents of IHLS:
- Resource-sharing opens up the world of library collections to library patrons who can then request whatever they want or need.
- Resource-sharing saves libraries’ money by reducing the need to purchase materials – libraries share them with each other instead.
- Resource-sharing automation programs save on technical staff time because the work is done centrally – freeing library staff to do the important work of direct service to patrons – and saves on costs because the products are purchased for a large group.
- Resource-sharing saves libraries’ cataloging and processing time by eliminating the need for duplicate records for each library location.
- Resource-sharing relies on delivery of materials between libraries – a service that is provided by library systems.
- Resource-sharing creates connections between libraries that can lead to innovative services and new features.
There are a number of ways patrons from IHLS libraries can take advantage of resource sharing. The most obvious is for the library to be or become a member of SHARE. Patrons from SHARE libraries can easily cruise the SHARE Online Patron Access Catalog (OPAC) to determine what items they want to request, log in, and hit the "Request it" button, for delivery to their home library.