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PALNI Onboarding Manual: What is PALNI?

Introduction To PALNI

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is a 501(c)(3) owned by the supported private academic institutions. It was founded in 1992 to provide automation and resource sharing amongst the libraries. As the internet and information services landscape has changed, so have PALNI systems and services at the strategic direction of all library deans and directors who sit on the PALNI board. PALNI has expanded beyond providing a resource management system to sharing expertise in many areas including strategic planning, reference, information fluency, outreach, data management and configuration, and has identified “deep” collaboration across library functions as a key goal.  

In August of 2014 and again in February of 2015, PALNI library directors committed to “deep collaboration” between PALNI libraries. PALNI libraries have been collaborating on a shared system since 1992 and have continued to expand the areas and methods of partnerships. We are being more deliberate in our approaches to working together. We have moved beyond just sharing expertise or the occasional project to sharing collections, staff, development, and strategy so that we can best provide the evolving services that our users need while containing costs. This collaboration will allow us to address more local needs by reducing duplication of effort. Managing services or functions across more libraries enables us to provide better service to our students and faculty by enabling staff to focus, explore, and innovate.

The libraries of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) collaborate to enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana by optimizing resources and services while strengthening leadership and professional development. The work that we do as a consortium benefits the students and faculty in each of the supported organizations. More information can be found on the PALNI website.


The libraries of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) collaborate to enhance the teaching and learning missions of private higher education in Indiana by optimizing resources and services while strengthening leadership and professional development.


PALNI and its member institutions strive to:

  • Innovate in the development of resource sharing.
  • Innovate in the collaboration of resources to optimize benefits for the constituencies of member libraries.
  • Yield advantageous return on investment for shared technologies and services.
  • Cultivate collaborative efforts among members and with other library organizations.
  • Stimulate dynamic statewide developments in library information services.(e.g., open source and other technology initiative initiatives, implementation of new resource discovery tools)
  • Provide a forum for professional exploration and dialog with candor and vigor about key issues in library and information services and the changing character and services of libraries.
  • Foster programmatic research and development to enable libraries and library staff to develop and maintain their capacity to meet changing expectations and needs.
  • Maintain agility to respond dynamically to changing environments.

Shared PALNI Values

All of these institutions have joined PALNI because of a belief in the power of collaboration as a mechanism for improving library services. The PALNI Board of Directors believes that a broad statement of the values that undergird the organization and a statement of values that guide the implementation of consortium programs are useful tools in reminding ourselves of first principles that should be honored in our work.

Equity of Service
Quality of Service
Collaboration & Sharing
Effective Stewardship

These values establish the context for the consortium and provide a foundational statement for the organization.

  • We achieve more together. Libraries working together make us individually stronger.
  • We respect each supported organization and library. We will strive to understand the needs of each individual supported organization and find common ground to serve the libraries of the supported organizations jointly.
  • We expect to improve the equality of access to information for the students, faculty, and staff of supported organizations. Through our efforts, we strive to level the playing field of access to information resources.
  • We provide leadership. PALNI is committed to being an advocate for supported organizations’ interests and values in state-wide collaborative ventures.
  • We engage in and enable continuous learning. PALNI is committed to the belief that continuous learning is essential in a rapidly changing world.
  • We encourage participation. We will provide opportunities for supported organization participation and engage in open communication in our decision-making and governance.

In developing the programs of PALNI, the supported organizations will strive to honor these values:

  • Equity of service across types and sizes of libraries. While supported organizations may opt for different types and levels of service, we will always strive for equity in terms of common understanding of level of use and ability to pay.
  • High quality of services. We will provide sustainable, affordable, and ready access to services that are tailored to the evolving information needs of supported organizations.
  • Collaboration and resource sharing. We will serve as an effective vehicle for the supported organizations to share their resources, services, programs, and ideas, leverage their purchasing power through group efforts, and, reduce the risk for individual supported organizations.
  • Innovation. PALNI is committed to bringing new services to the libraries of supported organizations, making supported organizations aware of best practices, and encouraging innovation among our supported organizations.
  • Flexiblity and responsiveness to supported organizations’ needs as we continuously adapt to the change that affects us. We will strive to find ways to address change, to understand it and its impact, to accommodate to it, and to prompt change that helps us better achieve our goals.
  • Efficiency in all of our operations. Limited budgets of supported organizations make it essential that operations of PALNI be consistent with these financial constraints.
  • Effective stewardship. PALNI is committed to the effective use of the resources that supported organizations entrust to the consortium.

*Mission approved by the PALNI Board, Fall 2011
*Vision approved by the PALNI Board electronic vote, Fall 2011

PALNI Organization Chart

We work together to share resources and services. We have a culture of proving we can do more together, with respect, dedication, and the freedom to try. The way we work is a driving factor to what we accomplish. That is why we work within a structure that provides the highest quality, value, and support for the institutions.

We achieve these ideals by:

  • Working collaboratively
  • Focusing strategically
  • Continuously innovating

The PALNI organizational chart shows the roles within PALNI and the leadership structure that follows. It does not illustrate the complex relationships between the roles which vary in depth and overlap. This chart is in constant flux as PALNI adjusts to meet the needs of the supported institutions.

Strategic Framework Information

In response to rapid changes in the education landscape and in recognition of PALNI's broad scope, the consortium has developed a dynamic planning tool, the Strategic Framework 2020-2023.The framework empowers PALNI with greater agility to meet the needs of our supported institutions.

The PALNI Framework is a tool used to evaluate needs and set priorities. To support student success, PALNI adjusts action plans on a quarterly basis to address evolving challenges and opportunities—ensuring we optimize our time, expertise, and resources.

Framework Pillars

  • Affordability
  • Student Success
  • Strategic Services
  • Expertise and Collaboration
  • Engagement and Promotion

View the full Strategic Framework on the PALNI website.

PALNI Commitment to Deep Collaboration

In August 2014 and again in February 2015, PALNI library directors committed to “deep collaboration” between PALNI member libraries. PALNI libraries have been collaborating on a shared software system since 1992 and have continued to expand to new areas and methods of partnerships. In order to provide the evolving services that our users need, while containing costs, PALNI is becoming more deliberate in approaches to working together.  PALNI has moved from sharing expertise or the occasional project to sharing resources, including staff.  By reducing duplication of effort, this deeper collaboration can allow PALNI libraries to enable staff to focus, explore, and innovate to more  effectively address needs and provide better service to students and faculty.


Deep Collaboration is goal based, done for the right reasons.

Deep Collaboration requires a common need and problem solving skills as well as trust, respect, and understanding of each other.

Deep Collaboration uses the partnership of PALNI to do more together than any institution can do alone. It is a deliberate attempt to handle issues at a larger scale than a single institution could do alone, allowing each institution to benefit from the work of the others.

Deep Collaboration builds on strengths, shared efficiency, and reduced borders to eliminate duplication, address knowledge and service gaps, and develop expertise to meet current and future campus needs.

Deep Collaboration can occur PALNI-wide, in subsets of PALNI, and in partnership with people and organizations external to PALNI.

Deep Collaboration requires local administrative and staff input and buy-in on this method of extending capacity and services.

Deep Collaboration provides library staff with opportunities to try and learn new things and to have responsibility on a larger stage.

Learn more about PALNI Deep Collaboration.