Joining MeLCat

Any Michigan library may participate in MeLCat. Participation is voluntary.

 To apply to be in MeLCat:

  1. Submit a MeLCat Participation Application and agree to:
    • load your bibliographic records and holdings into the union catalog,
    • share your circulating collections and authorize your patrons to make requests,
    • abide by MeLCat policies, and
    • participate in the statewide delivery service.
  2. If your library is a member of a shared library automation system, the shared system will need to agree to:
    • provide your bibliographic and holdings records for loading, and
    • provide links to your patron records, as needed for your library to participate in MeLCat.
  3. Submit a MeLCat Pre-Implementation Survey, which is sent to you after the participation application is received.
  4. If your library needs to subscribe to the statewide delivery service, please go to Joining RIDES for instructions.

MeLCat Costs

The Library of Michigan has a contract with the vendor who provides the MeLCat software that includes an initial license for up to 550 Michigan libraries to use the MeLCat software, with an additional license fee for each library after that up to 2,000 libraries.

These are the local library costs to participate in MeLCat:

  1. Participation in the statewide delivery service, with a minimum of two days per week service, dependent upon the volume of materials
  2. Software your local system might need to be able to:
    1. Export bibliographic and holdings records
    2. Export patron records
    3. Implement NCIP, ILS vendors should use INN-Reach DCB Profile (Optional)
  3. Staff workstations able to use Java client software, view the technical requirements
  4. Staff time and expenses for training, testing, and upgrading records
  5. Local publicity
  6. Innovative local systems
    • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol certificate for your local Innovative server
    •  INN-Reach software, if your Innovative system was purchased after May, 2004
  7. Unautomated libraries
    • Barcode labels for library materials and for patron library cards


MeLCat implementation can take a few months or more depending on the complexity of the implementation. MeLCat staff take a variety of factors into scheduling implementations including local ILS, collections and quality of cataloging, patron record linking/loading requirements, complexity of implementation, and MeLCat readiness. The general steps to implement new libraries include:

  1. Participate in a MeLCat orientation session.
  2. Link/load local bibliographic/item holdings into MeLCat.
    • Unautomated libraries will be able to add holdings via web-based software.
  3. Link/loading patron records into MeLCat.
  4. Attend a MeLCat training session.
  5. Go live on MeLCat!

Questions? Please contact:     517-939-1385