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September 10, 2013

Library system adds local school partners

Nearly 10,000 students at 20 local schools now have access to the Indianapolis Public Library’s collection of 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 eighth grade), St. Richard’s Episcopal School (pre-kindergarten through eighth 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.

The shared system, which began in 1995, allows students to use library cards to request materials from the library’s online catalog and from their own school library collections, and provides a delivery system that transports items between 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 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, the 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,” Sarah Batt, the library’s shared system manager, said in a press release. “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 the website at www.indypl.org/about/shared/.

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