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Mount Prospect Public Library to Join Catalog Consortium

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The Mount Prospect Public Library (MPPL) plans to join the Cooperative Computer Services (CCS) catalog consortium in October 2024.

The consortium is a group of 30 libraries that share the same catalog and can easily, quickly, and automatically share physical items with each other. MPPL will be the thirty-first library in the consortium.

“We are excited to announce this expansion of our offering,” said Su Reynders, Executive Director. “The biggest benefit to the Mount Prospect community is that joining CCS will provide residents with quick and easy access to over 7 million items.” 

Library usage and patron input led to the decision to join the consortium. “We are thrilled to report that MPPL circulated over 1 million items in 2023, which is the first time this has happened since 2014. I am excited to see library usage increasing and am looking forward to this next big step in the library’s future,” said Marie Bass, Library Board President.

Feedback from the community survey during the 2022 Strategic Planning process uncovered a preference to join the consortium. “I often find books I’m looking to borrow are available from nearby libraries but not in Mount Prospect’s catalog … it would be nice if there was a library share,” said one Mount Prospect resident. Another resident suggested, “My father’s library lets them request things from a bunch of other libraries, right in their catalog. I wish we could do that.”  Some residents were familiar with the consortium and requested that Mount Prospect consider joining: “Other libraries are able to get that book for me because they are members of a large consortium of libraries that books can be requested from. Please consider paying for this service.”

Benefits for Mount Prospect cardholders include reduced wait time, ease of use, and greater availability. Currently patrons must work with MPPL staff and wait 7-10 days to receive an item borrowed from another library. With CCS, patrons can place their own holds, and the first available copy will be automatically sent to MPPL in about 48 hours. The new catalog software system used by the consortium’s libraries, Polaris, is more modern and easier to use for both patrons and staff. Participating in a consortium is also less expensive than maintaining a singular system. 

In preparation, the library is renovating a section of the northeast corner of the library to handle the increased circulation of materials. During the renovation, patrons will see a temporary wall on one side of the lobby. No other areas of the library will be affected.  

The public space improvements will include expanded lobby space for more holds, more items in the Library of Things collection, and more Lucky Day materials. Behind the scenes, the reconfiguration of the Circulation and Technical Services staff workrooms will accommodate a larger automated materials handler, which will help manage the increased number of materials that will come with the integration into CCS.  

The construction timeline will be from May through August 2024, with minimal to no disruption to regular library services. The new catalog will go live on October 1, 2024. 

The total estimated cost of the physical renovations is about $3 million, and information regarding the bid process can be found at https://mppldev.org/about-us/transparency/.  MPPL received a Catalog Membership grant from the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) in the amount of $73,800 to support the project.

Member CCS libraries include Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Ela (Lake Zurich), Evanston, Fox River Valley, Fremont, Glencoe, Glenview, Grayslake, Highland Park, Huntley, Indian Trails (Wheeling), Lake Forest, Lake Villa, Lincolnwood, McHenry, Morton Grove, Niles-Maine, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Round Lake, Warren-Newport, Waukegan (Joining October 2024), Wilmette, Winnetka-Northfield, Zion-Benton.

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