The MnPALS consortium of libraries facilitates reliable and cost-efficient access to library resources for the benefit of their user communities. The consortium supports an integrated automated system that addresses the needs of all participating libraries.
Goals of the MnPALS Consortium include:
- Providing effective communication, coordination, and collaboration among diverse types of member libraries, including academic, public, school, and special libraries.
- Supporting standards-based systems that allow flexibility and integration with the larger information universe.
- Facilitating resource sharing and networking among member libraries to allow all participants access to available resources.
- Providing support, training, expertise, and additional related services through a central office.
- Ensuring that sufficient financial resources are available to meet current and long-range system development and maintenance needs, and that these resources are spent wisely.
The Consortium of MnPALS Libraries is highly collaborative and progressive in its structure and its funding. It provides user-focused information services, incorporating innovative technology and effective use of resources.
Broad Strategies to Accomplish the Consortium Vision
Specific actions to accomplish these strategies are developed by the Executive Committee on an ongoing basis. Tasks may be assigned to PALS staff or to committees or task forces created by the Executive Committee.
Focus on the User
- Create a comprehensive research environment through a combined suite of services and utilities. The common system will provide comprehensive discovery of books, articles, and digital assets.
- Ensure that planning for a future ILS focuses on user behavior and needs.
- Continue investigation of technology to serve member libraries, including library systems, discovery tools, and systems to store digital assets.
- Offer member-driven discussion of current technology, emerging services, and best practices. For example, the Futures Interest Group (FIG) is capitalizing on the experiences of many member libraries and librarians.
- Continue to sponsor vendor demonstrations at meetings.
- Develop and implement systems that are scalable to small institutions.
- Use economies of scale to provide services for member libraries.
- Maintain a strong working relationship with the MnSCU Systems Office, legislators, and other funding sources.
- Encourage continued entrepreneurial initiatives that provide revenue from libraries, both inside and outside the consortium.
- Be sensitive to the varying needs of member libraries due to size, funding streams, clientele, and geography.
- Foster broad involvement by utilizing a variety of communications methods, including electronic lists, wiki, and meetings.
- Use the skills and expertise of member librarians and PALS Central staff to provide professional development opportunities for staff of member libraries. Examples include User Group workshops, specialized days, specialized training, and FIG discussions.
Effective Governance Structure
- Continue to find ways to help member librarians participate in governance, despite tight budgets, tight staffing, and geographic distance.