SHARE is a collection of libraries in central and southern Illinois that have joined together to form the largest automation consortium in the country, with 341 members at 480 locations. There were many reasons to develop this consortium, including the ability to share the cost of purchasing an integrated library system, staff, technical support, and training.
What this means is that member libraries share the cost of maintaining an expensive, but highly necessary, technology that makes the end-users’ experience more enjoyable. All of those services that patrons have come to expect—hold lists, speedy checkouts, and online catalogs—happen because of this technology.
The size of the consortium means that our patrons have access to almost 10 million items, which they can order from their home library, their home computer, or their mobile device, and have delivered within days to their home library via the IHLS Functional 5 Day Delivery.
The legal entity for SHARE is the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), whose board of directors receives input for the consortium’s operation from the SHARE governing body and members.