The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) was founded in 1992 as one of the first statewide automated resource sharing networks for private academic libraries. For more than two years, PALNI had been considering a move to a new library management system. "We wanted to reduce the cost of managing our systems and collections so that we could focus on providing direct support to our students and faculty and on new projects like institutional repositories," said Kirsten Leonard, PALNI Executive Director.
PALNI members collaborate by optimizing resources and services among 23 small college and seminary libraries. Shared resources include an online library catalog and subsystems to support each library's circulation control, technical services and reference activities. According to Kirsten, "Several task forces were formed to determine the best course of action, and after careful study, PALNI determined that WorldShare Management Services and OCLC were best equipped to get us to where we wanted to go."
For the PALNI group, the decision wasn't just about efficient workflows and time savings. Also important was being part of a larger, cooperative vision for libraries on the Web. "OCLC is committed to developing radical collaboration avenues in our Web-based environment not only to share collections but also to share processes and staff expertise," Kirsten said. "We also see that OCLC is strongly committed to exposing library data on the Web and to ensuring the relevance of libraries in the future."
When asked if the change has made a difference, Kirsten responded, "We are already starting projects that we have been dreaming of—our 'wish lists.'"