St. Louis County Library and St. Louis Public Library will begin sharing an integrated library system (ILS) in 2022. The new ILS will allow patrons from both library systems to access nearly 5 million items, making library materials more convenient and accessible for both St. Louis County and City residents to check out. The new shared catalog is expected to be complete in spring 2022. The new ILS will allow patrons across the region to seamlessly view, request, and check out material from either system.
SLCL and SLPL will begin using the Polaris ILS in 2022, a product of Innovative Interfaces Inc. Using Polaris, patrons can discover materials from either library system through a single search and have them delivered to their library of choice. Patrons will be able to use their current library card to access items from both systems, they will not need to obtain a new library card.
“Increasing access to these valuable resources will be a tremendous benefit to users of both library systems,” said County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “Libraries unleash imaginations by linking us with a sea of information. And, working together, our libraries are providing more opportunities for our children and for the young at heart.”
“Our public libraries are a critical regional resource, and this exciting integration will make them even more accessible for everyone,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I look forward to collaborating with St. Louis County to continue improving services across our area.”
Kristen Sorth, Director & CEO of St. Louis County Library said, “The continued regional collaboration between two fantastic library districts is getting stronger through a shared collection of library materials. Working closely together to address and remove barriers to library resources is important for the region.”
“Our systems are very fortunate to have such a wonderful working relationship and to see the importance of collaboration and how it benefits our customers,” said Waller McGuire, Chief Executive Officer for St. Louis Public Library. “This latest partnership will allow customers unlimited access to the breadth and depth of each collection, providing a greater scope of materials for each cardholder to use.”
This is a historic decision for the two library systems, which have regularly collaborated on projects to increase access to library programs and services. Including:
- Eliminating overdue fines in 2020, removing a significant barrier for many patrons
- Providing scholarships for adult learners to complete their high school diploma and earn a career certificate through the launch of the Career Online High School program in 2017.
- Introducing Wi-fi Hotspots for patron check out to help address the region’s digital divide
- Offering a reciprocal lending agreement for City and County residents for 28 years.
St. Louis area residents have long enjoyed the benefits of two outstanding library systems. This most recent collaboration opens up even greater opportunities for the two library systems to work together in the future.