Catalogs & Cataloging

Library catalogs are essential tools for making a library's holdings available to its patrons, and also for the sharing of items between libraries. Automated catalogs also facilitate reciprocal borrowing by cardholders from other libraries.

We provide support to shared catalog consortia (including a grant for libraries to join consortia), specialized cataloging of items in certain languages, and cataloging training. Find More Illinois is our platform that allows patrons to find and request items between catalogs.

We've also developed guidance documents on consortial cataloging best practices and cataloging staff competency levels.

RAILS-supported Shared Catalogs

Local Library System Automation Program (LLSAP) is a term used statewide and rooted in historical relationships between the regional library systems and consortia, and it is defined in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3030 "an integrated library system open to membership by full library system members of all types developed by or receiving financial or in kind support from a library system."

We currently provide all six LLSAP shared catalog consortia in the RAILS service area with a mix of financial support and services. These consortia are funded by participating members, and by RAILS in the form of LLSAP support grants using funds from the system annual area and per capita grant from the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. Libraries seeking to join any LLSAP are eligible to apply for a RAILS Catalog Membership Grant when available.

For technical and training documents, forms, and other support for the CCS, Pinnacle, PrairieCat, RRLC, RSA, or SWAN consortium, visit the website listed under your catalog's name below.

CCS (Cooperative Computer Services)

CCS Help Desk

Pinnacle Library Cooperative


PrairieCat Help Desk

RRLC (Rock River Library Cooperative)

RSA-NFP (Resource Sharing Alliance NFP)

RSA Help Desk

  • RSA Help TOLL FREE: 866.940.4083; or
  • RSA Support (Local Call): 309.740.3805
  • RSA Support (Evenings and Weekends): 309.369.6422

SWAN (System Wide Automated Network)

SWAN Help Desk

Other Shared Catalogs

Best Practices

Best Practices for Consortial Cataloging

This document can aid RAILS libraries and consortia in finding opportunities to tune up existing cataloging standards and practices, or to develop new consistent practices in areas that are currently not standardized. These recommendations aim to set a baseline standard for bibliographic description in general, promote consistent practices within consortia, encourage the evolution of standard practices across consortia, and focus on key specific issues with the greatest potential impact on the patron experience.

Cataloging Staff Competency Levels

These competency levels are general recommendations from the RAILS Cataloging Working Group. These recommendations will help RAILS libraries as they design training for their cataloging staff for advocate and plan for new cataloging positions. These competencies are open to interpretation based on local practices and staffing structures at individual libraries.