Collection Assessment in a Multi-Type Environment: Marion County Internet Library
Marion County Internet Library (MCIL) is a Grant-Supported Collection of Databases of Electronic Resources. A partnership of academic, public, and school libraries I got to work with this past year. How often do you see different types of libraries coming together? Not very often. I think it’s worth questioning whether the way we have organized our professional organizations makes sense in today’s environment. MCIL was established in 1998 and funded through the Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The Library Fund was established by an anonymous donor for the sole benefit of designated public, academic, and high school libraries in Marion County. Currently, these designated partners include more than 40 public, private, charter, and state high schools serving Marion County; the libraries of IUPUI, University of Indianapolis, and Marian University; as well as the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) and all of its branches. At the current annual cost of approximately $540,000, MCIL provides free access to an expanded scope of online database resources in the Marion County that are not otherwise available. MCIL is available to any Indianapolis Public Library cardholder and is also accessible from home or anywhere off campus. These Internet-accessible online resources include newspaper, journal, and magazine articles; information from standard library reference sources; and collections of resources designed to enhance student learning and achievement. Assessing collections in such a diverse environment was insightful and rewarding! I hope we can see more libraries moving towards multi-type collaborations of this nature and more funders supporting such synergies.