MCFLS is primarily funded by the State of Wisconsin, overseen by the Department of Public Instruction, and administered by a seven member Board of Trustees. It functions as a membership organization, with its membership made up of the 15 administratively autonomous and fiscally independent public libraries in Milwaukee County. These public libraries join the MCFLS organization voluntarily, and renew their membership periodically by signing a membership agreement that is regularly reviewed.
What Does MCFLS Do?
- Manages CountyCat, the shared library automation system which makes the collections of 15 member libraries available to all County residents. In 2017, more than 6.4 million items were circulated at MCFLS member libraries. This service alone annual represents almost $130 million in value to the public! In 2017, libraries received 860,000 items that were not available in their own collection. This includes the management of a separate mobile catalog app.
- Administers a wide area network and offer PC and helpdesk support to member libraries.
- Oversees delivery of materials centrally allowing residents to freely request materials for pick-up at various member locations.
- Manages online access for several shared digital resources such as Gale Courses, Hoopla, Transparent Languages and more.
- Works to expand access to specialized collections and materials by funding a Resource Library Agreement with Milwaukee Public Library, our system’s Resource Library. The agreement provides backup reference and information services to other member libraries and their patrons.
- Coordinates staff training and continuing education opportunities to member staff.
- Facilitates group purchases when and where appropriate.
- Stays abreast of and participates in grant opportunities for member libraries.