BLC Shared Library System

BLC’s Shared Library System leverages the Ex Libris Alma Network Zone to facilitate a wide range of collaborative activities among the participating libraries. The Shared Library System will go live with its initial cohort of libraries in summer 2024.

What Does the Network Zone Enable?

A Truly Collective Collection

Shared holdings
Shared licensing
Consortially-aware purchasing
Simplified and centralized administration
Shared analytics

Future Collaborations

Collective collection development
Shared software development
Shared knowledge building
Shared staffing
Expanded leadership opportunities

Participating Libraries

BLC Network Zone Timeline (1)

Shared System Guiding Principles

As in any consortial endeavor, we acknowledge a need for consensus when choosing between local autonomy and consortial agency. We expect to face such choices in implementing and maintaining our Network Zone. Because choices require tradeoffs, it is important to outline clearly the values that will inform difficult decisions, such as when 1) conflicting opinions threaten to paralyze deliberations, when 2) we are tempted to default to “the way we’ve always done it,” and/or 3) we are tempted to prioritize mere convenience or individual priorities over the consortial benefits. 

We agree to the values below even over local preferences when we have conflicts.

The Alma Network Zone provides an opportunity and ability to “think consortially” and to foreground collective decision-making in all our work together.


The following values capture the broad impact we seek to have through this reframing of our work:

  • We value shared configurations and workflows that bring benefit to all members.
  • We value collective decisions that lead to shared staffing/resources.
  • We value the importance of the patron experience in all decisions.
  • We value implementations based on commonly held best practices for ensuring ease of incorporating additional NZ members.
  • We value an open path to NZ-participation for all eligible BLC libraries and seek to lower the barriers to entry wherever possible.


Want to learn more about BLC's Network Zone and whether its a good fit for your institution? Fill out the form below and a member of Team BLC will be in touch.

Join the Shared Library System