“The libraries of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) collaborate to enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana by optimizing resources and services while strengthening leadership and professional development.”
– PALNI Mission
The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is a 501(c)(3) owned by the twenty-three supported private academic institutions. This library-to-library collaboration strives to enhance faculty teaching and student learning for academic success. Through the “Power of PALNI,” each school benefits from reducing the duplication of efforts and achieving more in quality, value, and support.
The academic landscape is growing more difficult with escalating financial pressures yet colleges and universities must provide excellent services and resources. The PALNI solution is to collaborate not only with other private academic institutions in Indiana, but also to partner with other groups and consortia to reduce costs and compete academically through innovative services.
The library deans and directors who sit on the PALNI board have expanded the organization’s strategic direction as the internet and information services landscape have changed. PALNI shares systems and expertise in many areas including a resource management system, strategic planning, affordable education, instructional technology, collections, reference, information fluency, outreach, and data management.
The libraries of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) collaborate to enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana by optimizing resources and services while strengthening leadership and professional development.
PALNI and its member institutions strive to:
- Innovate in the development of resource sharing.
- Innovate in the collaboration of resources to optimize benefits for the constituencies of member libraries.
- Yield advantageous return on investment for shared technologies and services.
- Cultivate collaborative efforts among members and with other library organizations.
- Stimulate dynamic statewide developments in library information services.(e.g., open source and other technology initiative initiatives, implementation of new resource discovery tools)
- Provide a forum for professional exploration and dialog with candor and vigor about key issues in library and information services and the changing character and services of libraries.
- Foster programmatic research and development to enable libraries and library staff to develop and maintain their capacity to meet changing expectations and needs.
- Maintain agility to respond dynamically to changing environments.
Shared PALNI Values
All of these institutions have joined PALNI because of a belief in the power of collaboration as a mechanism for improving library services. The PALNI Board of Directors believes that a broad statement of the values that undergird the organization and a statement of values that guide the implementation of consortium programs are useful tools in reminding ourselves of first principles that should be honored in our work.
Equity of Service
Quality of Service
Collaboration & Sharing
These values establish the context for the consortium and provide a foundational statement for the organization.
- We achieve more together. Libraries working together make us individually stronger.
- We respect each supported organization and library. We will strive to understand the needs of each individual supported organization and find common ground to serve the libraries of the supported organizations jointly.
- We expect to improve the equality of access to information for the students, faculty, and staff of supported organizations. Through our efforts, we strive to level the playing field of access to information resources.
- We provide leadership. PALNI is committed to being an advocate for supported organizations’ interests and values in state-wide collaborative ventures.
- We engage in and enable continuous learning. PALNI is committed to the belief that continuous learning is essential in a rapidly changing world.
- We encourage participation. We will provide opportunities for supported organization participation and engage in open communication in our decision-making and governance.
In developing the programs of PALNI, the supported organizations will strive to honor these values:
- Equity of service across types and sizes of libraries. While supported organizations may opt for different types and levels of service, we will always strive for equity in terms of common understanding of level of use and ability to pay.
- High quality of services. We will provide sustainable, affordable, and ready access to services that are tailored to the evolving information needs of supported organizations.
- Collaboration and resource sharing. We will serve as an effective vehicle for the supported organizations to share their resources, services, programs, and ideas, leverage their purchasing power through group efforts, and, reduce the risk for individual supported organizations.
- Innovation. PALNI is committed to bringing new services to the libraries of supported organizations, making supported organizations aware of best practices, and encouraging innovation among our supported organizations.
- Flexiblity and responsiveness to supported organizations’ needs as we continuously adapt to the change that affects us. We will strive to find ways to address change, to understand it and its impact, to accommodate to it, and to prompt change that helps us better achieve our goals.
- Efficiency in all of our operations. Limited budgets of supported organizations make it essential that operations of PALNI be consistent with these financial constraints.
- Effective stewardship. PALNI is committed to the effective use of the resources that supported organizations entrust to the consortium.
*Mission approved by the PALNI Board, Fall 2011
*Vision approved by the PALNI Board electronic vote, Fall 2011
To view our Articles of Incorporation and/or Bylaws please click the links below. PALNI updates both on a set cycle and will post the most recent to this page.
View the Respect in the Workplace Policy
View the PALNI Works Open Access Policy
First Collaboration - 1980sAll Libraries faced labor-intensive and costly task of automating their catalogs and the acquisitions, cataloging, circulation and serial functions. The first collaboration between the private academic institutions in Indiana was the Lilly Endowment proposal for a grant to add their older records to the OCLC union catalog. They received the grant and the project was a success!
Birth of SULAN - 1989With one successful collaboration complete, the 29 libraries pursued another endowment to add more records to the OCLC union catalog. With full campus support, the first network, SULAN (State Universities Library Automation Network) was created.
Ownership Unease - 1990Administrators were cautious about joining SULAN due to questions of governance: What power would each college have in decision making in a state university-dominated system? At the end of the last meeting at the Endowment, Goshen Library Director Devon Yoder proposed that the library directors explore forming their own independent college library resource-sharing network which would link to SULAN.
Investing in the Internet - 1991All library directors voted to approve sharing a union catalog with INCOLSA to manage the system. To make this a success, library directors pushed their institutions to invest $400,000 in the latest technology: the internet. By providing the initial funding, the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications System implemented the state-wide INDNet Internet network, bringing the internet to all PALNI campuses for the first time in 1993.
New Organization Approval - 199225 campus presidents and their library directors approved unanimously the non-profit organization. The initial goals of the organization were to (1) automate certain functions within member libraries such as the catalog, circulation, acquisitions and serials; and (2) to implement agreements among members to facilitate resource sharing.
Endowment and Non-profit Status Received - April 1992In April, the Lilly endowment agreed to cover, in decline, the first three years with the schools assuming annual funding by the four year of operation as long as they could receive IRS non-profit status which was miraculously granted six weeks later!
Naming PALNI - June 1992A founding director, Larry Frye of Wabash College, suggested that they would be named PANIC (Private Academic Network of Indiana Colleges). They were not amused. However, PALNI (The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) was then indeed unique in American library history.
First Online Library Automation System Acquired - 1994The first online automation system, created by DRA, was pivotal to the success of the newly formed organization. Without it, resource sharing and collaboration could not have begun and expanded as quickly as it did.
Resource Sharing Begins - 1995The initial database load of records from University of Indianapolis numbered 100,000. Now, the PALNI database includes over 4 million records. A shared circulation agreement was adopted to allow individual faculty and students of any PALNI institution to go to another institution's library and check out materials directly.
Another Endowment for ILS Adoption - 2001With the rapid changes in technology and sharing demands, the Lilly Endowment awarded PALNI a follow-up $2.6M grant in 2001 to further upgrade and enhance its shared system and resource-sharing network. In 2002, ExLibris was chosen as PALNI's first integrated library system, opening the doors of collaboration even wider.
ExLibris Services Added - 2003/2004PALNI contracts with ExLibris for services including Aleph, Metalib, and SFX. All dedicated to improving data and linking so the users could research more efficiently.
Creation of a Collaborative Repository - Feb 2006Purchased OCLC’s CONTENTdm product to serve as the digital repository for PALNI libraries. Since the purchase, PALNI has been the leading consortial example in collaborative repositories. In 2008, 3 schools took the collaboration further by creating the first joint digital collection, Plowshares.
Giving a Voice to All - Feb 2010The first PALNI advisory group forms, the PALNI Technology Advisory Group (PTAG) with subgroups developed as needed for specific issues. PALNI advisory groups and ad hoc groups begin maximizing the use of virtual workspaces such as web conferencing and wikis. This was the beginning of deep collaboration in PALNI.
New Direction - June 2010PALNI created the position of Executive Director to oversee current and future technology and cooperative efforts within PALNI and with other organizations. To assist the ED's endeavors, the Digital Communications Manager was also created the following year. The valued and longtime support contract from ICOLSA (now MCLS) came to an end as PALNI moved to the cloud.
Expanding ExLibris' Services and Products - 2010The move to ExLibris’ Primo TotalCare was passed unanimously by the Board of Directors. In 2011, provision of Aleph services for most of PALNI as well as OCLC for Ezproxy support for a small number of PALNI libraries was also pursued to keep up with the fast-growing technology.
Adding Institution-based Coordinators - Late 2011The first part time coordinator positions, Systems Coordinator and Cataloging Coordinator, were created. These positions differed from other PALNI staff positions in that the positions were filled by existing library staff. The staff member would continue as an employee of the home institution while also working in a ¼-time or ½-time position for PALNI.
OCLC's WorldShare Implemented - 2013/2014In May 2013, the move to OCLC’s Worldshare system was approved at the Board Retreat with the Discovery system put in place the following year.
Shift in Coordinator Roles and Functions - Spring 2014With the change to OCLC's WMS, the two Systems Coordinator roles were no longer needed to manage the less complex technology. This allowed the coordinators to focus on skills that would create more an impact for the organization and it's library users. Thus, the Fulfillment and Development Coordinator roles were created.
Adding Information Fluency Coordinators - April 2014With more library roles collaborating in the consortia than ever before, additional coordinators were sought out. One particular area, "Reference, Instruction, and Outreach (RIO)" was anxious to collaborate but needed champions to lead. Unlike the other solo coordinators, TWO Information Fluency coordinators were added - a decision proven valuable to present day.
Assistant Director Added - July 2014With more collaboration initiatives on the horizon, PALNI created the position of Assistant Director.
Collaborative UX Testing Takes Off - October 2014With the hiring of the Information Fluency Coordinators and the switch to OCLC's WMS, the Digital Communications Manager teamed up with the Coordinators to conduct PALNI-wide usability testing on the shared system. Many rounds and many schools later, the team is still testing the site for ways to improve accessibility and enhance the user experience.
User Needs Assessment Initiative Formed - Fall 2015In efforts to best serve user needs inside and outside of the library, PALNI established an ongoing user needs assessment initiative. Currently, a toolkit and studies are promoted throughout PALNI in efforts to better meet the overall needs of our patrons.
Commitment to Deep Collaboration - Feb 2016With the increase in collaborative initiatives, budgetary cut-backs, and pressure to prove value the PALNI Board unanimously approved the Commitment to Deep Collaboration describing their vision for the consortia.
KB/LM needs open up new type of hire - Mid 2016PALNI added a KnowledgeBase/License Manager which was the first position to be completely responsible for the management of a functional library-based area.
Camp RIO 201625 participants joined the Reference, Instruction, and Outreach (RIO) group on August 11-12th, 2016 for Camp RIO at at Merry Lea Environmental Center (http://merrylea.goshen.edu/). Camp RIO is a professional development opportunity for Reference, Instruction, and Outreach librarians involved in the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). Camp RIO is similar to a conference, with focused sessions and content, but yet different, held in a relaxed rural location, with time to reflect in nature and connect with colleagues.
Celebrating 25 years!April 2017 marks the 25 year anniversary for the PALNI organization! From sharing a catalog to sharing staff, PALNI continues to innovate and collaborate deeper than ever before.
Loss of Saint Joseph's College - Jan 2017PALNI supported institution Saint Joseph's College closes it doors due to increased financial deficits.
Scholarly Communications Director Hire- Mid 2017PALNI hired a Scholarly Communications Director to promote the development of a consortia-wide repository for institutional research and publications, faculty and student works, data sets, and emerging digital scholarship. She also leads the effort to raise awareness of scholcomm issues, including open access publishing and open educational resources.
New Strategic Plan focused on Affordable Education - July 2017With growing economic pressures and financial burden, PALNI works to align their efforts with the needs of the supported institutions. The new strategic plan is more streamlined than ever before and focuses on utilizing deep collaboration practices to aid affordable education initiatives, enhance existing library services, and support faculty and student success.
Shared E-Resources added: JSTOR and Oxford deal - Fall 2017PALNI collaborated with ALI (Academic Libraries of Indiana) to negotiate ebook discounts with Oxford and JSTOR. These books can be used in the classroom as supplements or course textbooks.
Bethel College & Saint Mary's College Join PALNI - Spring 2018PALNI welcomes two new institutions to the consortium: Bethel College and Saint Mary's College. New expertise from both schools will aid the consortium to increase collaboration efforts and enhance traditional services.
OneButton application implemented 2018OneButton application is a successful development project that reduces the number of clicks by the user to request a book from the library, ILL, and/or PALShare. What once took 3+ clicks, scrolling, and decision-making on the part of the user, now takes a single click and the system chooses the best option.
Open Access Publishing (PALNI Press) Launched - Spring 2018PALNI launches the PALNI Press providing the capacity to create and host open-access journals. The first journal went live in the Spring 2018 on the platform. Vision: A journal for Church and Theology has been published semi-annually in print since 2000.
Affordable Education Initiative launched: PALSave - July 2018Today’s students are facing ever-increasing financial expenses with traditional textbook prices contributing to the pressure. To combat rising textbook costs and their detrimental effects on student success and retention, the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) launched an initiative: PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning.
PALNI Joins the Open Textbook Network (OTN) - July 2018PALNI joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN) as the first step to further its initiatives for affordable education and student success across the state. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, and is well known for helping organizations to advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses.
Camp RIO 2018Camp RIO 2018 was held at Waycross Conference Center. The theme was “Intentional Teaching,“ and each session walked attendees through teaching strategies for librarians. Susan Adams, Associate Professor for Middle/Secondary Education at Butler University was the guest speaker for the event, offering attendees practical and helpful advice for becoming intentional teachers. Along with Susan, the RIO Coordinators and Steering Committee led the workshop sessions. Other PALNI librarians offered a wide range of camping activities, such as crafts, hiking, and a book club discussion.
Franklin's Wellness Project Receives Innovation Grant - August 2018Denise Shorey, Director of Franklin College’s Hamilton Library received a grant to transform a current spot on the library’s first floor into a de-stress and collaborative zone called The Lounge for students, faculty and staff. The students will be able to express themselves in this area with low-tech materials such as coloring books, jigsaw puzzles and games, which have been shown to promote mindfulness and stimulate creativity.
Butler's Augmented Reality Project Receives Innovation Grant - August 2018The Butler University Libraries received the grant to develop an augmented reality (AR) experience. The proposed AR experience will integrate active learning into library instruction and will provide students with real-time information regarding the library spaces they are viewing.
PALNI partners with PALCI to launch Hyku - Fall 2018PALNI and Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI) are partnering to pilot Hyku - an open source institutional repository project that present a multitenant system suitable for management at the consortial level. Hyku will enable PALNI to create an Institutional Repository customizable for each school while retaining consortia management from the backend - a "Collaborative Consortial Institutional Repository."
WRLC partnership provides Islandora services - Fall 2018PALNI partners with the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC https://www.wrlc.org/ 2 ) for Islandora hosting and support. Islandora is one of the solutions identified to explore for PALNI’s shared institutional repository, the other being Hyku. Islandora can also be used to host cultural heritage material, and we’ll be looking at how well Islandora can replace CONTENTdm so that we can minimize costs and systems to be supported.
Future Framing Task Force Created - November 2018The Future Framing Task Force aimed to develop a plan to respond proactively to financial pressures facing PALNI’s supported institutions, including significant declines in higher education enrollments projected for the Midwest by 2025. The plan was geared to sustaining of PALNI collaboration and strengthening PALNI’s supported libraries and institutions over a 10-year horizon from 2020-2030.
PALSave Project Garners Lilly Endowment Support - May 2019Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $520,000 to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) for PALSave, an affordable education initiative that will combat rising textbook costs and their detrimental effects on student success and retention.
Affordable Learning Project Coordinator Added - June 2019Erin Milanese works for Goshen College and provides project support for the grant-based PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program. Working with the Scholarly Communications Director, she coordinates efforts to educate faculty about Open Educational Resources (OER) and supports the use of affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks.
Hyku for Consortia project awarded IMLS grant - June 2019The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded $172,172 to the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI) in partnership with PALNI for Scaling Up a Collaborative Consortial Institutional Repository as part of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. With this award, the partners will develop and pilot an affordable, open-source, and collaborative institutional repository solution based on the Hyku software.
Butler's Photogrammetry Project Receives Innovation Grant - August 2019PALNI awarded the 2019 PALNI Innovation Grant to Butler University for their proposal, Making Cultural Heritage Artifacts into 3D Digital Objects using Photogrammetry. Butler’s interest in using photogrammetry to teach, preserve and give access to 3D special collection materials was cross-departmental between the Library, Center for Academic Technology, and the Butler Art Committee.
Future Planning Board Retreat - September 2019Using the Environmental Scanning information provided by the Future Framing Task Force, the Board identified and planned for the most significant risks for consortium as a whole and for individual supported organizations. The retreat focused on how to mitigate risks using deep collaboration, partnerships, and strategizing services while containing service costs and fees.
Library Impact Assessment Tool Released - October 2019PALNI worked with The IDEA Center to create a freely available assessment survey focused on the educational role and institutional effectiveness of the library. The results of the Assessment of Library Impact and Value survey provide insights on how best to implement improvements, allocate resources, and communicate with campus stakeholders at PALNI institutions.
Communications and Member Support Coordinator Added - November 2019The Communications and Member Support Coordinator position was created to fill the need for increased communication support and event planning. The coordinator assists the Communications and Marketing Director in creating engaging stakeholder materials, photography, web design, and social media.
PALNI Joins the Partnership for Shared Book Collections - January 2020PALNI is one of many to develop this partnership to protect and preserve scholarly print books. The newly formed Partnership for Shared Book Collections (https://sharedprint.org/) takes this work to the next level by coordinating collaboration for the protection of print books. PALNI Executive Director, Kirsten Leonard, is also voted in as the new group's first chair of the executive committee in recognition of PALNI's success in collaboration.
IR Project Coordinator Added- March 2020Nicholas Stanton-Roark works for Anderson University and provides project support for the collaborative institutional repository. Working with the Scholarly Communications Director, coordinates efforts to operationalize the consortium-wide IR, including training and procedure documentation.
Publishing Services Admin Team Created - March 2020This team provides support for library publishing activities at PALNI-supported institutions under the PALNI Press. Members work collectively to address local barriers to library publishing, engage with the library publishing community, and monitor the landscape for new developments in this area.
PALSave kicks off Course Redesign Grants - March 2020The PALSave Course Redesign Grant program offers $500 stipends to teaching faculty as an incentive to adopt zero cost textbooks. Zero cost textbooks may include open educational resources (OER), library ebooks, or other materials available to students at no additional cost. This program is made possible by a five-year Lilly Endowment, Inc. grant to support our PALSave affordable learning initiative.
New 2020-2023 Strategic Framework - April 2020Based on the extensive environmental scanning completed by the Future Framing Task Force and informed by the Future Planning Board Retreat, a new strategic framework was designed. The new plan strives to address the institutional economic challenges and college affordability for students while maintaining and improving on student success and retention. Underlying each pillar is continual engagement with stakeholders and an analysis of needs.
PALNI Statement on Supported Institution Financial Challenges - April 2020Alongside the new 2020-2023 Strategic Framework focused on affordability and student success, PALNI issued a statement to address the coming decline of student enrollment and financial hardship of the institutions.
PALNI Study of Student and Faculty Habits (INAP) Completed - July 2020The PALNI Study of Student and Faculty Habits (INAP) was conducted from 2016-2020. This study sought to discover the information seeking behaviors of members in our campus communities, some of whom may never interact with the library. It was conducted on 10 PALNI campuses.
PALNI pilots Hyku institutional repository software - July 2020For the first time, new repositories can be created on the live Hyku Commons platform (in partnership with PALCI), allowing PALNI schools to provide digital access to scholarship, institutional records, archival collections and more.
25th Anniversary Celebration: Founding Member Story Collection
The PALNI Success Story (Article)