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Mockingbird: Arkansas libraries sharing their catalogs statewide

by Bradly Gill | September 16, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK- Arkansas library patrons have a powerful new tool to borrow items from any Arkansas library collection. That's because they will have access to Mockingbird, the Arkansas Statewide Virtual Union Catalog.

Mockingbird is being rolled out to libraries in stages. The second group of Arkansas libraries has joined Mockingbird.

Mockingbird provides a single point of access to participating Arkansas library catalogs. Library users can search this joint catalog and ask their home libraries to request items to be delivered to their libraries for them to borrow. Mockingbird is not a replacement for a library's own catalog, rather it works with different catalog systems around Arkansas to provide extended discoverability and access.

SHAREit by Auto-Graphics is the platform behind Mockingbird. The first phase of implementation for Arkansas libraries began in February 2022. Approximately thirty libraries or systems representing public, academic, and special libraries across the state went live in June 2022. The second phase of libraires went live on September 6, 2022 and brought the total number of participating libraries to just over 50.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding propelled the Arkansas State Library to initiate the project this year to address a critical need for our statewide community of users. Library directors in Arkansas were surveyed in May 2021 on their interest in participating in a statewide resource sharing platform.

Based on the response, the State Library moved forward with a Request for Proposal solicitation for a flexible and configurable commercial off-the-shelf platform. That process was finalized in November, and the Arkansas State Library received legislative approval at the end of January to use the Auto-Graphics SHAREit platform for this resource.

The cost of the platform implementation as well as the ongoing annual costs associated with the platform itself are provided for all participating libraries. The State Library is pleased to have the opportunity to provide this resource for libraries and library users. Arkansas is Auto-Graphics' 15th state to use the platform for its statewide system.

The overall vision is to expose multiple libraries' catalogs and collections to library users in Arkansas. This will make it possible for library users of different library types and from all geographic areas within the state to discover items and potentially request them with or without the assistance of their library depending on the preferences of individual participating libraries.

Policies, processes, and workflows for resource sharing logistics are up to the participating libraries to determine locally. Some libraries may opt to participate simply by allowing others to see what materials they hold and may not use it for interlibrary loans. Other libraries are invested in resource sharing amongst their localities and with other libraries around the state and will readily borrow from across the state for their patrons.

Check in with your local library to ask how they are participating and how you can access this resource.

For more information, contact Jessica Kirk, the statewide sharing and engagement librarian with the Arkansas State Library, at Jessica [email protected]

2022 Mockingbird Participating Libraries include Arkansas River Valley Regional Library, Arkansas State Library, Arkansas State University (Beebe), Arkansas State University (Dean B. Ellis Library), Arkansas State University (Three Rivers,) Bella Vista Public Library, Bentonville Public Library, Calhoun County Library, CALS (Central Arkansas Library System), CAMALS (Carroll and Madison Regional Library System), Clark County Library, Columbia County Libraries, Crawford County Library System, Crossett Public Library, Crowley Ridge Regional Library, East Central Arkansas Regional Library (Cross County), East Central Arkansas Regional Library (Woodruff County), Faulkner-Van Buren Regional Library System, Forrest City Public Library, Fort Smith Public Library, Garland County Library, Gravette Public Library, Hempstead County Public Library, Hendrix College (Bailey Library), Iva Jane Peek Public Library, Lawrence County Library, Lonoke County Library System, Lonoke County Library System (Cabot), Marion County Library, Mid-Arkansas Regional Library (Malvern-Hot Spring County), Mid-Arkansas Regional Library (Saline County), Newton County Library, North Little Rock Library System (Laman Library), Northeast Arkansas Regional Library (Corning Public Library), Northeast Arkansas Regional Library (Greene County), Northeast Arkansas Regional Library (Piggott), County Northeast Arkansas Regional Library (Randolph County), Northeast Arkansas Regional Library (Rector Public Library), Pea Ridge Public Library, Pope County Library, Prescott/Nevada County Library, Public Library of Camden & Ouachita County, Southeast Arkansas Regional Library, Southern Arkansas University Main Campus (Magale Library), Taylor Health Sciences Library (Arkansas College of Health Education), TriCounty Regional Library System (Ashdown), TriCounty Regional Library System (Howard), TriCounty Regional Library System (Sevier), Union County Public Library System, University of the Ozarks (Robson Library), and White County Libraries.

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