NC Cardinal was conceived in 2009 and formed in 2010 “to make the combined resources of North Carolina’s public libraries available to all people of the state through a shared catalog and a statewide library card.” Over the first five years of its existence, NC Cardinal has broadened its focus beyond “a shared catalog and a statewide library card” to providing cost savings, collaborative collection development, and resource sharing among Member Libraries.
Today, the shared catalog contains over 6.2 million items. Over 15 million items have been circulated and over 3.4 million items were transited between Member Libraries since 2013, with an average of 130,000 items moving around the state per month. NC Cardinal is a program of the State Library of North Carolina, supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act.
The State Library’s goals for the project are:
- to create a single vision for North Carolina libraries that have varying policies and workflows
- to provide an alternative to higher-priced third party ILS vendors
- to enable public libraries to re-allocate their monies from financially supporting an ILS to other, patron-focused needs
- to enable resource sharing among participating libraries
- to more effectively and efficiently support library patron needs between participating libraries, expanding their library use in terms of greater offerings and services