HELIN Consortium

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HELIN is a consortium of nine public and private academic libraries in Rhode Island. The HELIN libraries share an online catalog of each library's holdings.

The institutions include:

  • Brown University (restricted access)
  • Bryant College
  • Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI)
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Providence College (PC)
  • Rhode Island College (RIC)
  • Roger Williams University
  • Salve Regina University
  • University of Rhode Island (URI)

HELIN serves a population of over 70,000 students, faculty and staff at campus locations throughout Rhode Island, and also includes Johnson & Wales two campuses in Colorado, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia.

With the inclusion of Brown into HELIN in May 2002, library patrons have access to over 4.1 million items, including books, periodicals, online resources, videos, and audio materials.

Borrowing HELIN library resources is reciprocal among member libraries, and is generally facilitated through online catalog requests. Patrons enter their name, library barcode, and choose a pickup location from a listing of campuses throughout the state. The requested material is delivered daily, using a statewide delivery system maintained through the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services.

HELIN's Executive Director oversees all HELIN operations. A full-time Systems Librarian assists the Executive Director in the daily activities of the Consortium. A Management Committee, which consists of the chief librarians from each of the nine member libraries and the HELIN Executive Director, governs HELIN.

The HELIN Executive Director, through the governance of the Management Committee, formulates the budget, and negotiates and oversees contracts with software, hardware, and digital resources vendors.

The HELIN Consortium is not incorporated, and is viewed as a higher education collaborative bound by an "Agreement for Integrated Library and Information Services" signed by all member libraries. HELIN has a set of bylaws that are based upon the "Agreement for Integrated Library and Information Services," and the bylaws are an extension of that document.

The University of Rhode Island is the host site for all HELIN library servers, including the HELIN Library Catalog and the newly instituted InRhode Library Catalog. The University of Rhode Island also functions as the fiscal agent for HELIN.

HELIN has its own telecommunications network, for all its member libraries, that is maintained by Atrion Networking Corporation. Operational costs for HELIN are shared equally by all members.

The HELIN Consortium was formed in 1984 when the libraries of the three institutions of higher education, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island, began cooperating when they agreed to share an automated circulation system. In time, the automated circulation system was replaced by a multi-functional automated library system purchased from Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

In 1990, Roger Williams University joined HELIN, followed by Providence College in 1992, Johnson & Wales University in 1997, Salve Regina University in 1999, Bryant College in 2001 and Brown University in 2002.

In 1995, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education charged a special committee to study technology among the public institutions of higher education. That committee report stated, in part: "the libraries at the public institutions of higher education, through the HELIN system, provide the best example of cooperation and coordination of delivery systems within the higher education system."

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