Largest Consortium in North America Goes Live on Polaris

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Illinois Heartland Library System migrates 427 libraries to Polaris ILS.

Polaris Library Systems
“Polaris is honored to work alongside the largest consortium in North America." - Bill Schickling, president and CEO, Polaris Library Systems

Polaris Library Systems, a trusted provider of technology solutions that help public, private and academic librarians serve their communities, has implemented the largest automation consortium in North America.

Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) selected the Polaris Library System as its new automation system in June of 2012; accounting for 427 libraries that cover 28,141 square miles and serves a population of 2.24 million community members.

IHLS was created by the merger of four regional library systems in southern and central Illinois, including Lewis & Clark Library System, Lincoln Trail Libraries System, Rolling Prairie Library System and Shawnee Library System. Selecting the Polaris ILS has provided patrons with efficient checkouts, enhanced online catalogs, advanced holds routing capabilities and above all an enjoyable experience.

The implementation was completed in 10 months from the contract sign date, involving extensive collaboration with libraries who have migrated from three different systems: Dynix Classic, Horizon and III. With 1,524 staff licenses and an annual circulation over 12 million, IHLS patrons now have access to over 9.18 million items and 3.2 million bibliographic records, available from their computer, mobile device or any of the 427 libraries.

“Polaris is honored to work alongside the largest consortium in North America. Just as we strive to bring innovative solutions to the industry, Illinois Heartland Library System envisions a future where collaboration and innovation are at the forefront of their community involvement,” said Bill Schickling, president and CEO, Polaris Library Systems. “I anticipate great success in our future together, and look forward to watching our partnership strengthen and evolve.”

IHLS went live on Polaris in April of 2013 and has since seen a significant increase in catalog activity. In the first week, IHLS checked out 19, 275 items and 63,836 holds or requests were placed.

“As a growing organization, IHLS could not have asked for a better partner. Every hurdle we encountered was met with confidence and a solution by Polaris. I can't imagine library automation without Polaris Library Systems!” said Leslie Bednar, executive director, Illinois Heartland Library System.

Polaris Library Systems continues to work with libraries and consortia of all sizes, focusing on efficient implementations and innovative products that will better the library industry and the community at large.

To learn more about Illinois Heartland Library System and the libraries fully integrated under the Polaris Library System, visit

About Polaris Library Systems
Polaris Library Systems is a leading library automation software company, earning the highest customer satisfaction ratings by focusing on one goal: helping librarians serve their communities. Established in 2003, Polaris Library Systems provides public, private and academic libraries with an integrated library system that boosts productivity, improves patron satisfaction and transforms how libraries connect, communicate and collaborate with their communities in the modern world. For more information, visit


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