Mission: Tenn-Share is a member-driven organization serving Tennessee libraries by providing cost effective resources and services that help them better serve their communities.
Vision: Leading innovation, sparking creative ideas that transform Tennessee libraries.
Tenn-Share is a nonprofit membership organization for libraries that serves as Tennessee’s only purchasing consortium for all library types. With over 600 academic, school, public and special library members, Tenn-Share negotiates discounts for critical library resources, operates the state’s interlibrary loan courier service Firefly, holds events and professional development opportunities for librarians, and generally works to help Tennessee libraries fulfill their missions.
In 1990 the Memphis Area Library Council formed an OCLC Group Access Capability organization, which laid the foundation for the formation of Tenn-Share and got Tennessee librarians engaged with resource sharing. In 1991 Tenn-Share’s first constitution was drafted and was approved by 64 members in 1992. In 1996, Tenn-Share became an incorporated entity with over 200 member libraries.
Throughout Tenn-Share’s history, the organization’s work has been driven by member needs. In the 90s that looked like workshops to help libraries get on the worldwide web, interlibrary loan mentorship and beginning some of our first group database purchases. Tenn-Share has been hosting an annual conference for membership since 1992. In 1997, Tenn-Share had a vision for statewide access to electronic resources and created a proposal for the Tennessee Electronic Library. Tenn-Share led lobbying efforts in partnership with the Tennessee Library Association and Friends of Tennessee Libraries, and in 1999 this proposal was adopted by the Tennessee State Legislature. In 2013, Tenn-Share started the Firefly Courier Service to help libraries save money and encourage interlibrary loans among public and academic library members.
From supporting a statewide portal to access Tennessee culture and history resources to advocacy training for librarians to library carpentry workshops, the history of Tenn-Share’s work is identifying needs in the library community and pooling our resources and collective knowledge to find solutions together.
Tenn-Share is a proud affiliate member of the following organizations:
- Tennessee Library Association
- Tennessee Association of School Librarians
- Friends of Tennessee Libraries
- International Coalition of Library Consortia