New Library Directors Handbook

Montana Shared Catalog

The State Library is working toward a statewide shared catalog, where a patron at your library could find out what other libraries have available. Think of it as one stop shopping, where a patron can access every library in the state. The Montana Shared Catalog (MSC) is the name of a statewide catalog project originally funded by the State Library. More than 130 public, school, academic, and special libraries from all regions of Montana are members of the MSC . By working together these libraries seek to offer patrons the best library service possible. The State Library will continue to help other libraries join the MSC.

Question: What's the primary value of being an MSC library?

Answer: By working in partnership with other MSC libraries, you will have the opportunity to more efficiently provide higher value services and better quality content to your library's users.

Question: What is the Montana Shared Catalog?

Answer: The Montana Shared Catalog is a voluntary consortium comprised - as of Jan 1, 2011 - of 132 libraries and branches. MSC libraries are found in 80 Montana communities, serving a combined population of approximately 550,000 and over 350,000 registered users.
The MSC currently includes 5 academic libraries, 69 public libraries or public library branches, 46 school libraries, and 12 special library members from across Montana.

Question: Where are these libraries located?

Answer: Seventy-nine are in Western Montana (60%), 26 in Central Montana (20%), thirteen in Eastern Montana (10%), and fourteen (10%) on the Hi-Line.

Question: What application and computer hardware does the MSC run on?

Answer: We use SirsiDynix Corp.'s Symphony1 integrated library system (ILS). Library users access the catalog via the state-of-the-art Symphony "eLibrary" online public access catalog (OPAC). Library staff have a workstation-based client called "Workflows" that interacts with the Helena-based MSC servers. Director's Station is a web-based application that runs on its own server, allowing library directors and staff to query the system's history logs for statistical information on circulation, cataloging, acquisitions and user activity.

Montana Shared Catalog