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What is SILS?
The Saskatchewan Information & Library Services Consortium (SILS Consortium) was formed in 2009 and brings together all 10 public library systems in Saskatchewan, plus the Provincial Library & Literacy Office, a branch of the Ministry of Education.
Regional, municipal and northern library system boards are major contributors to the SILS project, with support from the Government of Saskatchewan.
The SILS Consortium enables members (each public library system) to collaborate on joint projects and purchases for the benefit of everyone in the province. Members have agreed to a set of standardized borrowing terms and fees and review these on an ongoing basis. For public libraries in Canada, an agreement on this scale remains unprecedented.
One Province, One Library Card
Now that over 300 public libraries in the province share a catalogue, one library card provides easy access to materials across the province. Although some local conditions apply, patrons can easily borrow and return items from any public library in Saskatchewan. As a result of the improved access and integrated approach, public library boards across the province have seen an increased demand for library services.
In its first year of operation, SILS has seen hundreds of thousands of library patrons from the farthest reaches of the province to the largest cities taking advantage of the easy-to-use province-wide catalogue along with the seamless borrowing and returning of items from anywhere in Saskatchewan. The initiative has already been so successful that the increased demand for library services is stretching the capacity of both the public libraries and the government service which ships items around the province.
What Does This Mean for Me?
As a resident of Saskatchewan, you have fast and equitable access to public library services and materials.
- With your library card, you have 24/7 access to public library materials from anywhere in the province, from any computer with internet access.
- You can request materials to be delivered to your preferred library location (i.e., the branch closest to where you live or work).
- You have the option of managing your library accounts online and can receive email or telephone notifications.
- You can link your account to someone else to allow for easier holds pick-up, or you can transfer your card privileges to a friend or family member who can then sign out material for you.
Faster access to materials
- Due to overall improvements in the way library materials are purchased, catalogued and processed, you will receive your materials as quickly as possible.
Access to Leading Edge Technology
- SILS is constantly updating and developing new technology to improve patrons’ online library experience and access to electronic materials.
History of SILS
In 2005, the library systems around the province started coming together to discuss the concept and feasibility of a shared provincial software system. These discussions unfolded over the next few years. Then, in October of 2008, the provincial government committed $5.2 million over four years to a single integrated library system to launch the project. This included $2 million in one-time funding to the SILS Consortium to purchase software, and $1.3 million to assist library boards with purchasing local computers. The remaining $1.9 million was used to support the implementation of the software system throughout the province. Regional, municipal and northern library system boards have always been key contributors to the SILS project.
For more information, contact the Library Director in your area: