Membership Information

Membership Levels

PrairieCat has three levels of membership:

Fully participating library: a library that pays for the services and the use of all existing application programs as delineated in the Agreement between it and the other PrairieCat fully participating members and whose patrons have full access to the benefits of the ILS. Fully participating members are voting members and may hold any office.

Basic Online library: a library that pays for the services and the use of circulation and other specific application programs as delineated in the Agreement between it and the other PrairieCat members. Basic Online members are voting members and may hold any office.

Union List library: a library that contributes its holdings to the database for resource sharing activities only. The library pays a fee for these services. Patrons of the library are not included as part of the patron database of the integrated library system. Union listing members have four representative votes at Delegates Assembly but do not hold any office.

Please contact Carolyn Coulter (carolyn.coulter@railslibraries.info), PrairieCat Director, for more information about membership and pricing (877-542-7257, ext. 5234).

SHARE Illinois and ILL Barcode Libraries

PrairieCat participates in SHARE Illinois, and members of other SHARE consortia are eligible to place holds on PrairieCat on behalf of their patrons.

In addition, PrairieCat allows non-PrairieCat member libraries that are not SHARE-Illinois or I-SHARE members to purchase blocks of holds that can be placed on behalf of their patrons. Libraries that purchase blocks of holds are known as ILL Barcode Libraries. Visit the ILL Barcode Order Form for more information.

Responsibilities of PrairieCat Members

The obligations and duties of PrairieCat members are as follows (prescribed in Section 6 of the PrairieCat Intergovernmental Agreement signed by all members):

  1. To comply with such other reasonable rules and regulations as may be established by PrairieCat for the administration of the Agreement and ILS as well as all policies of PrairieCat, as amended.
  2. To appropriate or budget annually its liabilities for participation in PrairieCat and the ILS and to meet its obligations hereunder.
  3. To cooperate fully with any agent, employee, officer or independent contractor of Prairiecat in any matter relating to the purpose and powers of PrairieCat.
  4. To make payments promptly to PrairieCat as established in the Bylaws, Fee Schedules and this Agreement.
  5. To execute any agreement or other documents with Vendors, such as a confidentiality agreement, required for operation of or participation in the ILS.
  6. To act promptly on all matters requiring approval by the Members and to not withhold such approval unreasonably or arbitrarily.
  7. To make its library materials available for interlibrary loan in accordance with the Illinet Interlibrary Loan Policy and to enter its collection into the common database.
  8. To take responsibility for purchasing and maintaining all equipment and telecommunications services necessary for access/connectivity to the PrairieCat system. All such equipment must be compatible with PrairieCat's system, as well as vendor and PrairieCat guidelines.
  9. To acknowledge that the vendors of the ILS have or may have certain proprietary rights in connection with the ILS and to assume and accept responsibilities/liabilities related to any violation of said proprietary rights by its patrons or users.
  10. To take no action inconsistent with this Agreement as originally written or hereafter amended.
  11. To attend Delegates Assembly meetings (Fully Participating and Basic Online members and the four Union Listing member representatives).