CMLE Featured Service: North Star Library Consortium

Are you looking for great pricing on a hosted software solution to manage your library collection? CMLE became aware of needs in this area several years ago. Some schools with extremely tight budgets were contemplating a return to their card catalogs, which is simply not acceptable anymore. There was a serious need to find solutions to jump start school library collections again!

Destiny is a state-of-the-art software solution that supports K-12 students and staff in the classroom, media center, or from home. Its higher-end, school-specific functionality is typically priced outside of the reach of small districts, unless they have access to a consortial buy. The North Star Library Consortium is now a statewide opportunity open to any school media centers. By working collaboratively with other multitype library systems  over several years to get a group of 110 districts, and 230 individual school sites, we are able to keep the pricing formula which offers affordability to even the smallest school districts.

It is not necessary, but we strongly encourage all schools in a district to join the Consortium at the same time. In this way, media specialists within a district can see all parts of the district’s collections, work together to solve problems, or assist each other with software tweaks too. And, by being part of the Consortium, these people also have over 200 other schools on a listserv using the very same product, solving the same problems. For media specialists who have been working in acute isolation, this can be energizing, and offers a huge layer of support in their daily work. By having the software hosted and maintained at Region 1 in Moorhead, MN, media specialists no longer have to rely on assistance from over-burdened tech staff in their district. Region 1 staff backs up Consortium data every two hours and attends to software updates too.

The full Consortium is currently represented by 110 districts, with 230 individual sites.  Over 2.7 million library titles are managed through this system, with an estimated value of $57 million, serving over 172,000 patrons. The following CMLE school districts (and associated number of school sites) are now part of the North Star Library Consortium, with interest from others in the region as budgets and staffing allows. NSLC members from the CMLE region include:

Image by 401 (K) 2013. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by 401 (K) 2013. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.
  • Sartell (4 schools)
  • Rocori (5)
  • East Central (2)
  • Melrose (2)
  • Aitkin (2)
  • Long Prairie/Grey Eagle (2)
  • Cathedral-John XXIII (1)
  • North Branch (4)
  • Kimball (2)
  • Monticello (4)
  • Paynesville (2)
  • Becker (4)
  • Maple Lake (2)
  • McGregor (1)
  • Royalton (2)
  • Eden Valley Watkins (2)
  • Osakis (1)

Go to to see all of the schools in the Consortium and to access the process for requesting a bid for joining. Note: Requesting a bid does not obligate you to join, but it can give you the information to do some possible tweaking on your budget!

This is one possible solution. Have you found other cost-effective solutions for managing your school library collections? Interested in other CMLE services? Additional information can be found on our website.