How to Join the Montana Shared Catalog

How to Join the Montana Shared Catalog

How to Join

Please open a help desk ticket with your questions, to request a cost estimate, and to learn what benefits and obligations come with being a Montana Shared Catalog member.


  1. Publicly funded or not-for-profit libraries including academic, school, public, or special are eligible and encouraged to apply. For-profit libraries are invited to join the MSC, but are not eligible for LSTA funding.
  2. Applicant libraries must appear in the online Montana library directory managed by the Montana State Library (MSL).
  3. Applicant libraries must have an approved Collection Management Policy.
  4. MSC members must maintain annual enrollment in OCLC Group Services. Information on OCLC membership and enrollment can be found at:
  5. Applicant libraries must have, or have installed prior to implementation, a reliable, broadband internet connection with static internet protocol (IP) addresses.
  6. Applicant libraries must choose from a menu of circulation policy rules and cataloging policies.

Application Scoring

Applications will be scored according to how well applicants address their library's commitment to the following (6) criteria:
  1. Mutually improving the delivery of library materials and services to library users;
  2. Furthering the process of libraries-helping-libraries and resource sharing;
  3. Increasing collegial interaction between participating librarians;
  4. Promoting collaborative and consortium behavior in general;
  5. Furthering MSL’s goal of developing libraries through networked services; and
  6. Supporting and improving the Montana Shared Catalog consortium.

Start-Up Financing

The State Library Commission has authorized the Montana State Library to set aside federal Library Services & Technology (LSTA) funds, when available, to help libraries cover the vendor startup costs associated with joining the Montana Shared Catalog. Individual libraries are expected to fund the annual MSC membership costs. We accept applications from all library types. The number of libraries accepted is dependent upon the suitability of the applicant, number of applications received, library type and size, support staff limitations, and the amount of LSTA funds available to pay vendor startup costs.

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