SWAN (System Wide Automated Network) serves Illinois libraries as a multi-type library consortium since 1974. It has a membership of 97 libraries in the Chicago area, and provides service to 1 million registered library users. SWAN provides a shared online public access catalog with more than 8 million items available to patrons, with centralized cataloging and software services. SWAN provides a unique collection of materials from public, college, and special libraries across Illinois.
The SWAN membership relies on support from dedicated staff employed by the organization. SWAN is incorporated as an Illinois Intergovernmental Entity.
== History ==
=== SLS Automated Cluster ===
In February 1974, 27 library directors attend a presentation by Computer Library Services, Inc. (CLSI) at Suburban Library System (SLS). A “Two Cluster” model presented, and it is recommended that libraries wishing to automate purchase a cathode ray tube (CRT) as first terminal which requires manual entry of data. Second option is a “light pen” which scans bar codes. SLS signs contract with CLSI on behalf of the first 9 libraries to automate circulation: Alsip, Dolton, Eisenhower, Elmhurst, Harvey, Lansing, Northlake, Oak Park, and Park Forest. The 4-year contract is $907,000 for 25 remote terminals. SLS bankrolls the 9 pioneer libraries, securing loans on their behalf which are then paid back to SLS. The initiative that will eventually become SWAN is referred to as the “SLS Automated Cluster” and is run by Joann Klene.
CLSI LIBS 100 Circulation Control System arrives at SLS headquarters: 2 terminals, 2 printers (1 CRT and 1 light pen). Description in SLS newsletter reads: “A computer is like a TV set with a typewriter keyboard attached. A light pen is a small scanning device that reads barcodes. A computer operates by reading zebra labels on patrons’ cards and in books.”
Patron registration performed at the original 9 libraries were then sent to SLS for input into databank. Prior to going “live” all item information was also sent to SLS for entry into databank.
Online data entry begins at libraries, with Oak Park Public Library being the first to start, with others following on a weekly basis. Online circulation begins in June 1975, with Alsip-Merrionette Park being the first to go live. At the time, there are 2 clusters which operate separately: North 64,997 items; 20,340 patrons (Eisenhower, Elmhurst, Northlake, Oak Park) and South 68,861 items; 29,261 patrons (Alsip, Dolton, Harvey, Lansing, Park Forest).
SLS signs $25,000 Dial-up Access contract with 3 other CLSI organizations (North Suburban L.S, Northern Illinois L.S., and the Illinois State Library) for inter-library loan purposes.
In January 1977, CLSI Midwest Users' Group Meeting is held at SLS. SLS Reports on Dial-Up Access to SWAN “…a title search takes 11 seconds, compared to 3 minutes which a search of the microfilm holdings list of the ISL takes.”
In February 1977, Oak Lawn Public Library joins the network
In March 1977, Downers Grove and Frankfort Join.
In August 1977, Elmwood Park Joins. After Elmwood Park joins, the 2-cluster system is pushed past tipping point. 4 clusters are now created:
A -- Eisenhower, Elmhurst, Oak Park
B -- Dolton, Frankfort, Harvey, Park Forest
C -- Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Northlake
D -- Alsip, Lansing, Oak Lawn
All clusters must be searched separately but “…soon new equipment will allow the merging of clusters- first to 2, then to 1”.
In December 1978, the four clusters experience excessive downtime, which necessitates meeting with CLSI executives.
The Illinois State Library announces grants in August 1979 for Statewide computerization. A 3-year program provides matching funds for systems to funnel to interested libraries, up to $1.4 million per year. 16 SLS libraries immediately apply and the SWAN consortium grows rapidly. The Clusters A&B and C&D Merge in September 1981, and then finally in December 1981, the two Clusters merge into one. The cluster of 29 libraries agree on 16 sets of loan rules, which requires SWAN to be down for 4 days to complete merge. After the merger, up-time is at 92.5%.
Libraries are offered opportunity to increase baud rate from 300 to 1200, starting in January 1982. Cost is either $100 or $1,000 depending on age of equipment. However, in December 1982, continued downtime and lost data problems plague libraries.
Old sketchy data entry is recognized as problematic. Database clean up begins with MARC/MATCH project via AutoGraphics beginning in 1983. At the end of 1983, the SWAN Manager Joann Klene retires, and Joan Spencer becomes SWAN Manager at SLS.
=== SWAN ===
Beginning in September 1988, SWAN is adopted as the name for the service. In August 1989, SWAN initiates a MARC conversion project, along with a campaign to delete “no item” title records. In September 1989, SWAN libraries migrated from CLSI to GEAC. Diane Wilhelm becomes the SWAN Manager in August 1990.
First SWAN email sent to member libraries using PINE (Program for Internet News and E-mail) in October 1995. SWAN's first website launched via the SLS website in 1997.
In May 1998, SWAN selected Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and begins planning to migration from GEAC. Over the course of August 1998 through February 1999, SWAN migrates to Innovative Interfaces, Inc. INNOPAC software. Later that year, SWAN introduces its first Web access to SWAN online catalog launched from SLS webpage. Beginning in 2000, the Illinois Century Network (ICN) expands T-1 line service to public libraries.
SWAN becomes an independent organization in October 2010, beginning a separation from the Illinois regional library system that created it. SWAN begins a search in November 2012 for new integrated library system to provide its services, and in April 2014 a contract with SirsiDynix Inc. is signed. SWAN migrates to Symphony ILS, with 77 individual Enterprise catalog profiles and eBook integration. SWAN completes its final step towards full independence in December 2016 when it moves to its own facility.
=== Recent SWAN Initiatives ===
19 libraries in two adjacent library consortia were approved in January 2017 to join the SWAN network in May 2018. When complete, SWAN will serve 97 Illinois libraries, extending from the Fox River to the Indiana border.
== Services ==
Libraries that are members of the SWAN library consortium add their cardholders to a central database with access to nearly 8 million items. Cardholders can also download and stream digital books, audiobooks, movies, and music through a collection of database subscriptions. Additional services include the following: centralized cataloging, text or email notification for items available or when they become overdue, and printed notices mailed directly to patrons. SWAN provides online video instruction to patrons and promotional material of its notification options. Libraries in SWAN have the ability to integrate purchasing of material through SWAN's integrated library system. SWAN is participating in a Linked Data project through Zepheira. This initiative is part of a BIBFRAME conversion of MARC21 data into a linked data website hosted by Zepheira.
== Governance ==
Member libraries elect seven library directors for three-year terms. The SWAN Board is responsible for governing and overseeing SWAN operations, including determining policies for the organization, employing an executive director, securing adequate funds for operations. Member libraries in SWAN through an intergovernmental agreement under the Illinois Cooperative Act agree to participate as members of the SWAN organization.
== External links ==