First, let us mention some VersaCard enhancements that we have made available since Mr. Breeding’s VersaCard article was published in July of 2018. There’s transit optimization and other tools to give each library more power for managing cross-library lending/reserving. Plus it has actually always included fulfillment management. — Now, please read on to see how really different VersaCard is.
Imagine sharing your resources in a consortium environment where you have your own circulation rules, policies, etc. In other words, you retain your autonomy. VersaCat® and VersaCard sharing let you do just that at no additional cost. And better yet, you retain direct access to Biblionix and the best product and support in the industry.
This unique “best of both worlds” solution lets your collective patrons have access to all items, yet without the need for centralized control. You can add libraries and drop them, ad-hoc, at any time, without any changes in price for any library.
- Provides discovery capabilities at your choice of other libraries
- Patrons choose when and what to search
- Compatible with any Apollo or Z39.50-enabled library
VersaCard Ad Hoc Consortia
- Every participating library retains its autonomy. Its policies and configuration are unaffected (like circulation rules, material types, patron types).
- Access to personal information is limited. For example: library A has no access to the personal information of patrons of other libraries unless and until the patron borrows from Library A. Even then, options are available regarding the degree of personal information that is shared.
- Libraries can enter and exit the consortium at will.
- There is no charge for participating, for entering, or for exiting.
- Entering and exiting a VersaCard consortium does not change a library’s data in any way.
- Every participating library retains its own relationship with Biblionix; it is not subverted to a consortial authority. As with any stand-alone library arrangement:
- Customer support is provided directly to the library.
- Option choices are made solely by the individual library.
- Billing continues to be dedicated to each library.
- Circulation rules can be set to govern lending to VersaCard patrons. These rules are distinct from lending rules for a library’s own patrons.
- Patrons can checkout items from other participating libraries using only their home library card. Only 1 account exists for each patron.
- Patrons who are blocked at any library are blocked at all libraries.
- Any Apollo ILS customer can cancel its service at any time and receive a pro-rated refund.
- Every Apollo ILS customer can participate.
- Based on the NCIP standard.
And don’t hesitate to ask us about the consortia already using Apollo and VersaCard!
To summarize Mr. Breeding’s findings in his feature article on VersaCard, “…libraries share their collections with selected library partners without the overhead and complications associated with prevailing models of consortial infrastructure.”