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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 336 members at 465 locations. There are many benefits to SHARE membership, 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-user’s 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. In fiscal year 2023, we filled over 1.1 million holds, a feat made possible because we are committed to Sharing Heartland's Available Resources Equally (SHARE). 

The size of the consortium means that our patrons have access to almost 8.6 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. In our fiscal year 2023, our patrons checked out almost 7.0 million items, which is over 300,000 more items from the previous fiscal year.

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.

For more information about the SHARE Executive Council or committees, please go to our Governance page.

For more information about SHARE fees, please go to our Annual Membership Fees page.


If you have questions, please contact:

Leslie Bednar, Executive Director for IHLS
Cassandra Thompson, SHARE Director
Jennifer Baugh, SHARE Manager for Bibliographic Services
Dena Porter, SHARE Administrative Services Supervisor
Troy Brown, IT Director


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