NC Cardinal

6.5Million Items in the catalog
793,784Checkouts per month (on average in 2018)
79,274Holds filled per month (on average in 2018)
161Physical branches throughout NC
42Counties throughout North Carolina
36Library Systems 5 Regional 26 County 4 Municipal 1 Special

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 almost 6.5 million items. Over 56 million items have been circulated and over 4.5 million items were transited between Member Libraries since 2013, with an average of 79,274 items moving around the state per month in 2018.  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 provide an alternative to higher-priced third-party ILS vendors
  • to facilitate resource sharing among participating libraries
  • to enable public libraries to re-allocate their monies from financially supporting an ILS to other, patron-focused needs
  • to more effectively and efficiently support library patron needs between participating libraries, expanding their library use due to greater offerings and services
  • to create a single vision for North Carolina libraries that have varying policies and workflows