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Criteria for Participation in Resource Sharing Services of Minitex

Minitex is a publicly supported network of academic, public, state government, and special libraries working cooperatively to improve library service for their users in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. This policy defines the requirements for Minnesota academic and state government libraries' participation in the Minitex resource sharing and associated delivery program (hereafter, "resource sharing"). These criteria apply only to the resource sharing program; other Minitex programs have different criteria for participation. Criteria for libraries that participate in Minitex resource sharing programs through other inter-agency contracts are identified by their appropriate State Library Agency or other governing entity. The criteria described herein may also serve as a model for contract-based agreements.

The Legislative intent for Minnesota Office of Higher Education funding of the Minitex resource sharing program is to enable Minnesota libraries to share their collection resources to support students, faculty, and other users of Minnesota academic and state government libraries. The Legislature has also provided appropriations to Minitex to operate a suite of programs that enhances and supports resource sharing.

The goal of the Minitex resource sharing program is a statewide network of participant libraries in which each library supports its users, contributes to their development as information consumers, and contributes mutually to the services that comprise the resource sharing program. Meeting the established criteria and sharing collection resources leverage the state's investment.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible academic* and state government libraries meet all the following minimum requirements for participation in the Minitex resource sharing program:

  • A collection of information resources such as print, electronic, and other media;
  • A searchable Internet-accessible catalog of bibliographic records that provides access to the collection;
  • Collections available to affiliated users and more broadly to the Minitex resource sharing community;
  • A commitment to providing library services and cooperative resource sharing to meet the needs of the library's institution; and
  • A commitment to providing cooperative resource sharing to the Minitex resource sharing network.

* Eligible academic libraries must be part of a Minnesota-based institution of higher education that is registered or licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and has its principal locations of instruction and research in Minnesota, with the majority of students residing in the state.

Collection and Access Requirements

Each participating library is expected to actively develop and maintain its own collections, bibliographic records, and personnel to support its institution's or agency's programs, to serve its community of users, and to contribute to the Minitex resource sharing network. Participation in Minitex does not diminish the responsibility of each library's funding/appropriating authority to provide essential financial support nor is participation in resource sharing services a substitute for local ownership of materials or provision of resources required by a library's users.

Staffing and Operational Requirements

Each participating library is expected to have staff to support library operations, engage with the Minitex resource sharing program, and support both borrowing and lending services. Dedicated staff, preferably professional degreed librarians, are essential to fully leverage the benefits of the Minitex network. The library's staff is expected to assume the following responsibilities:

  • Support the sharing of collection resources (both borrowing and lending) consistent with library and Minitex policies, protocols, and procedures;
  • Update and maintain bibliographic records and online systems to support collection access;
  • Ensure up to date information on library staff, collections, and schedule of operations, supplied to Minitex; and
  • Keep current with Minitex developments and programs.

Compliance and Criteria Review

Minitex will regularly monitor participating institutions' eligibility for resource sharing based on the specified criteria. Institutions whose libraries consistently do not meet the criteria will be notified by the Minitex Director indicating the area of concern and requesting that they demonstrate their commitment to the Minitex resource sharing program through evidence of meeting the established criteria. Failure to meet requirements may result in ineligibility for or limitations on resource sharing services.

Changes in technology, collection development, and policies around resource sharing may dictate revisions in the criteria for resource sharing. The Minitex Policy Advisory Committee will initiate a review of the criteria every five years or more frequently as needed.

Approved: September 7, 2007, Revised June 12, 2020

Approved by Minnesota Office of Higher Education June 12, 2020

Staff contact
Gerri Moeller

Associate Director for Resource Sharing and Delivery