What software are you currently using to manage your catalogs? This may influence the best strategy for your situation. It may very well make sense to build a single VuFind index with multiple front-ends to display different subsets of the records for different institutions (plus, if you wish, a union catalog). Several American consortia have taken this approach. The biggest challenge is that, if you are using the "real time availability status from ILS/LMS" feature, and all of the libraries involved have their own independent catalog systems, things can get slow.

Anyway, if you tell us a little more about the software involved, we can make some more specific recommendations. I'm sure you can use VuFind to meet your needs -- just a matter of figuring out the best strategy!

- Demian

From: Sarah Morris [sarah.morris@fai.org.lb]
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 6:52 AM
To: vufind-general@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [VuFind-General] Using Vufind for several libraries at once

Hello, 

I'm a librarian for a non-profit photography association in Beirut, Lebanon. 
We would like to put our library catalogue online, but we also wish to connect with 
an independent art library in the same city, and maybe more such institutions in the future. 

Please can someone advise me on the following:

- Should we create one online catalogue where we list all the titles stocked in the different institutions, and then specify in each entry where the book is held? (Is this even possible?) 

- Or is it better to create separate catalogues? And if so, can we merge them after? 

Essentially, we wish to create a stronger network between non-profits in our city and encourage our fanbase to discover these institutions' libraries and vice versa. There is no network of state-funded public libraries in Lebanon, so it is up to us to fill some of these gaps and help each other!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer their advice and support.

Best

Sarah