What is NorthNet Library System?

The NorthNet Library System is a consolidation of three library systems, MVLS (Mountain Valley Library System, serving Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba Counties; NBCLS (North Bay Cooperative Library System), serving Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties; and NSCLS (North State Cooperative Library System), serving Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity Counties.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this new consolidated regional system is to improve the services of its constituent member libraries by maintaining existing CLSA (California Library Services Act) programs, leading research and development efforts to ensure that libraries are best positioned to respond to demographic, economic, and cultural changes through innovative and collaborative approaches to programming and services and the enhancement of collective resource building and sharing.

This new system is part of a statewide effort as encouraged and supported by the California State Library to consolidate library systems throughout the state to achieve efficiencies and realize further economies of scale.  There are currently fifteen systems in the state.  Under the consolidation plan, ten of the fifteen systems in the state will be in three systems with five independent systems remaining.

The NLS will develop broader goals and scope than the CLSA mandated programs in communications, delivery, and reference, which are legislated by current law.  The consolidation will improve and enhance services.  A local system may continue local best practices to meet its own needs.  This may include committee structure and programs.

BACKGROUND

In Spring of 2008, each system selected Library Directors to represent their respective systems in the planning for the consolidation.  This group, called the Consolidation Task Force, has met regularly since Spring 2008. Several members of the CTF will continue to serve on the Steering Committee for the new system formation.  A chronology and timeline are available for review.

The governance model for the NLS is a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA).  Each of the three systems currently operates under either a JPA or a JRA.  To become a member of NLS, you must be a JPA or a JRA.  The Administrative Council or Board of Directors of each system must approve their JRA or JPA joining the NLS JPA.  The NLS JPA is an overarching structure leaving the three systems’ JRAs and JPAs intact.  The NLS JPA will go into effect July 1, 2009.  The JPA,   bylaws, and standing rules are available for review.

FINANCING OF THE NLS

For the first year of existence, there will be no increase in the amount of membership fees or dues paid by the member libraries, as the current membership dues structure will remain in place for this time period.   A Finance and Personnel Committee has been appointed and will develop a membership fee schedule for future years.  The Committee will also develop an annual budget for approval at the annual NLS meeting in May.

BENEFITS OF THE NLS

  • The NLS will achieve economies of scale by investing in a set of shared resources in programs and services that will benefit people served by the communities in the three systems.
  • The NLS will reduce duplication of effort and redundancies at the administration level as the three systems become one.
  • The NLS will facilitate the ability of member libraries to work together to increase the quantity and quality of the services and programs for the people in this broader geographic area.
  • The NLS will enable each member to be more responsive to the changing needs and expectations of its community.
  • The NLS will create a common approach to marketing and public relations and have a shared capability for this work.
  • The NLS will enable resource sharing to work better and more seamlessly.
  • The NLS will allow member libraries to have a stronger, more effective and unified voice.
  • The NLS will capitalize on the talents and competencies of a larger group of member library staff and increase the opportunity to share and learn from each other.
  • The NLS will collaborate to invest in research and development of new initiatives and pool resources to support development of these initiatives.
  • The NLS will invest in a common administrative infrastructure.
  • The NLS will extend the network and communities of practices among the people who work in the member libraries.
  • The NLS will provide the structure and support for member libraries with common interests to communicate and share in a broader geographical arena.

POTENTIAL NEW SERVICES TO BE EXPLORED BY THE NLS

  • Programming
  • Expanded Materials Delivery
  • Staff Development and Continuing Education
  • Support for research and development, such as an innovations Grant Program
  • Technology opportunities, such as the Open Source Grant
  • Communities of Interest on such topics as Friends Activities, Facilities both new and aging, New Technologies.  Could be virtual and called by a convener
  • Self-Selected Communities of Interest published in the Staff Directory
  • Social Marketing
  • Leadership Development
  • New model for resource sharing
  • Shared models for the “behind the scenes” library work, centralized acquisitions, collection development, cataloging, processing of media and books, including specialized collections, i.e., foreign language