Note: In May 2021, the Consortium of MnPALS Libraries approved the adoption of a new governance model. The following information pertains to the old model and will be updated in Fall 2021.
Consortium of MnPALS Libraries
The Consortium of MnPALS Libraries (the Consortium) is a self-supporting organization. Members pay fees according to a funding formula, developed with input from the Consortium’s Executive Committee. The Executive Director of PALS is responsible for the PALS budget and works with Minnesota State’s System Director of Libraries to make financial decisions. The Executive Director of PALS has decision-making authority in the assignment of PALS staff resources.
The Consortium includes all Minnesota State libraries as well as some private college and university libraries, state government libraries, public libraries, school libraries, and special libraries. Membership in the Consortium requires that a library be a member of both Minitex and OCLC, load their bibliographic records in the MnPALS catalog, allow all Consortium members to search their collections, and agree to participate in interlibrary loan with the other Consortium members.
Members of the Consortium may meet once a year at the Fall User Group Meeting and once a year at the Annual Meeting.
PALS provides automated library services and additional services in support of online learning to all Consortium libraries, benefiting their staff and patrons.
PALS is an acronym for Project for Automated Library Services. Initiated at Mankato State University in 1978, PALS is now a program of Minnesota State’s Academic and Student Affairs Division; Minnesota State is ultimately responsible for the operations of PALS.
Members of the PALS staff are state employees, and the Executive Director of PALS reports to the System Director of Libraries at Minnesota State.
Consortium of MnPALS Libraries Deans/Directors/Coordinators
The purpose of the Deans/Directors/Coordinators (DDC) is to provide an assembly of the heads of all Consortium libraries.
The DDC comprises the heads of all participating Consortium libraries.
The DDC meets at least once a year to review Consortium activities and to provide focus and direction for the Executive Committee.
- Providing direction and input to the Executive Committee concerning the operation, services, and long-range planning issues for the integrated library system (ILS)
- Reviewing actions of the Executive Committee
- Informing themselves, their staffs, and users of current and potential issues and decisions affecting the ILS
Consortium of MnPALS Libraries Executive Committee
The Executive Committee represents all seven types of libraries that currently make up the Consortium: 1) state universities, 2) colleges and universities, 3) community colleges, 4) technical colleges, 5 and 6 combined) state government libraries and special libraries, 7) public and school libraries. The Executive Committee comprises two members from each of the first six groups and one member from public and school libraries. Ex-officio members include the Director of Minitex, the Executive Director of PALS, and at least one representative from the User Council, typically the Chair.
Terms are three-year staggered terms with four members elected in two years and five in the third year. Elections are held each spring at the DDC Annual Meeting. Terms run from May through April.
At the first meeting following the DDC Annual Meeting, the Chair-Elect becomes Chair and the Executive Committee elects from its membership a Chair-Elect and a Secretary. The Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary become the Executive Committee Steering Committee. Terms on the Steering Committee are one year, running from May through April. Those elected to the Steering Committee must have served on the Executive Committee for at least one year. The Chair-Elect presides in the absence of the Chair. The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes at Executive Committee meetings and for preparing one copy for distribution by PALS to the Consortium. The immediate past Chair is responsible for heading a nominating committee. No more than one representative from each of the seven types of libraries can be on the Steering Committee. The Executive Director of PALS is an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.
The Executive Committee meets at least quarterly. The DDC and the User Council receive draft agendas prior to Executive Committee meetings.
The Executive Committee is responsible for the following functions:
- Developing budget priorities consistent with the Consortium’s strategic plan and ensuring that annual budgets reflect these priorities
- Serving as an advisory group to the Executive Director of PALS, the DDC, and Minnesota State regarding the overall direction of the Consortium and the ILS
- Reviewing and plan for the future development of the Consortium
- Facilitating the functioning of User Groups, the User Council, and other appropriate committees or task forces
- Approving and, as appropriate, initiating the formation of ad hoc committees
- Encouraging communication between User Group chairs and the User Council, the Executive Committee, User Group members, and PALS
- Soliciting from relevant Consortium library constituent groups issues that belong on the Executive Committee agenda.
The Steering Committee is responsible for the following functions:
- Providing advice to the Executive Director of PALS between meetings of the Executive Committee
- Setting meeting agendas for the Executive Committee and the DDC
- Preparing minutes of the Executive Committee meetings
- Other duties as assigned by the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shares its reports and recommendations with the User Council and User Groups. Following each of its meetings, the Executive Committee communicates with relevant Consortium groups regarding any actions it will take.
Consortium of MnPALS Libraries User Council
The User Council assesses and prioritizes the recommendations of the User Groups and Task Forces and communicates these to the Executive Committee and PALS.
Annually, User Groups elect members of the Steering Committees and representatives to the User Council at the User Group Meeting. Members serve staggered, two-year terms following the election.
For each of the User Groups, the User Council selects from its own members a Convener and a representative to the Executive Committee; these may be the same person. Both positions are two-year terms, running from May through April.
The User Council meets in conjunction with the meetings of the Executive Committee. When appropriate, the User Council may designate other of its members or outside experts to attend Executive Committee meetings to help in the presentation of matters coming before the Executive Committee.
Statement of responsibilities
Statement of reporting
Consortium of MnPALS Libraries User Groups
The User Groups assess, enhance, and advance the software and services shared by the Consortium.
The User Groups and the system functions on which their membership is based are:
- Acquisitions (Acquisitions)
- Cataloging (Cataloging)
- Circulation (Circulation)
- Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
- Reference and Instruction (Web OPAC)
- Serials (Serials)
- Systems (GUI OPAC, Web OPAC, Admin)
Each User Group may have a Steering Committee, which is responsible for organizing and conducting the meetings of the User Group. The Steering Committee comprises up to six members selected by and from the User Group. Each User Group determines the method of selecting its Steering Committee members.
The Steering Committee selects one of its members as the Convener of the User Group for a two-year term. The Steering Committee is responsible for designating someone to act as Secretary of the User Group and of the Steering Committee.
Only Consortium members currently subscribing to the ILS may vote in the respective User Group meeting(s); each Consortium member (i.e. ADM) has one vote.
Only representatives from Consortium libraries may hold office. Each User Group includes a staff member liaison from PALS.
The User Groups meet once a year in the fall. Steering Committees meet at least twice a year, either in person or by conference call.
The User Groups are responsible for providing organized opportunities to:
- Communicate the needs and expertise of User Group members to the Executive Committee, Executive Director of PALS, and staff
- Communicate policy-related information and recommendations from User Group members to the Executive Committee, Executive Director of PALS, and staff
- Communicate policy-related information and decisions from the Executive Committee, Executive Director of PALS, and staff to User Group members
- Facilitate training for Consortium libraries
- Identify, assess and communicate to the Executive Committee ILS-related needs and enhancements
The Steering Committee is responsible for selecting a minute-taker and making minutes available to the Consortium.
Adopted: 7/14/95 | Revised: 5/15/96 | Revised: 11/16/01 | Revised: 3/27/02 | Revised: 5/15/02 | Revised: 3/27/07 | Revised: 5/1/08 | Revised: 4/15/10 | Revised: 4/12/12