May 22, 2022

Indianapolis Public Library Shared Catalog System Adds Local School Partners

From the Indianapolis Public Library:

Nearly 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.


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.”

See Also: A History of the Shared System (via IPL)

See Also: Shared System Info Page (via IPL)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.