January 17, 2022

Public Libraries: Columbus Metropolitan Library and Others Joining Ohio’s Central Library Consortium

From the CLC Announcement:

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Libraries have made the strategic decision to join the Central Library Consortium (CLC) in 2013. This partnership results in 11 library systems serving 1.4 million residents across six counties with nearly 1.2 million titles, doubling the number of titles all of those libraries currently offer their customers.

The CLC is a 25-year-old partnership among library systems who share materials, resources, servers, licenses, group purchases and even staff while remaining strong, independent library systems. Libraries in the consortium include: Alexandria, Fairfield County, Grandview Heights, Marysville, Pickaway County, Pickerington, Plain City and Wagnalls Memorial.


This opportunity presented itself when Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Library chose to make Polaris Library Systems its new Integrated Library System (ILS) because all of the libraries in the CLC also operate with Polaris. An ILS is the core software that manages library business. It keeps track of items the library purchases, materials that have been borrowed, customer information, fines and fees, everything a library needs to control inventory and communicate with customers. The Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees voted today to make Polaris Library Systems its new vendor for its ILS. In that same meeting, the Board voted to join the CLC.

From the Northland News (ThisWeekNews.com)

Once the new arrangement takes effect, most likely in May or June 2013, patrons will be able to order materials from any of the other CLC member libraries, said Mary Ludlum, executive director of the Grandview Heights Public Library. Grandview is a CLC founding member and the administering library for the consortium.


It currently costs about $500,000 each year to implement the CLC and the cost is shared by the eight members, Ludlum said. The amount each library system pays is based on the number of transactions its patrons make.

While that cost will go up “significantly” with the addition of three more library systems to the CLC, the cost for each library will not rise because of the large systems joining the partnership, she said.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.