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Indy Library Shared Catalog System Adds Local School Partners

September 5, 2013

St. Richards students - news image.jpgNearly 10,000 students at 20 local schools now have access to The Indianapolis Public Library's collection of nearly two million items as part of the Library's growing Shared System, an interlibrary collaboration that provides online circulation services and joint access to the catalogs and collections of member institutions. The milestone participation level is included in a progress report to be presented to the Library's Board of Trustees.

Newest members include Gambold Preparatory Magnet High School, the first Indianapolis Public Schools institution to join the Shared System; Holy Cross Lutheran School (kindergarten through 8th grade); St. Richard's Episcopal School (pre-kindergarten through 8th grade); and Providence Cristo Rey High School; a private, college-preparatory high school for students from families with limited financial means whose membership is made possible by contributions from Impact 100 members.

Begun in 1995, the Shared System allows students to use their library cards to request materials from the Indy Library's online catalog and from their own school library collections, and provides a delivery system that transports items between Indy Library branches and the schools. The Library also performs processing and cataloging services for the cooperative. It is the only such system in the United States that uses this cooperative model between schools and public libraries.

The Shared System includes a combination of private, public and charter schools along with a state school (Indiana School for the Deaf), and two local art museums (Eiteljorg Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art).

"This is a unique partnership that helps the Library support Marion County students by giving them more tools to access information and the resources they need," said Sarah Batt, the Library's Shared System Manager. "Schools can leverage their scarce resources by sharing the materials they purchase with each other."

For more information about the Shared System and a listing of member institutions, visit