The Main Library Alliance is a network of 49 public libraries located in Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset and Warren Counties. Main’s mission is to lead and encourage collaboration, resource sharing, staff development and innovation by providing high quality, cost effective shared services to member libraries for their communities. Main aspires to help member libraries and the communities they serve to readily access a rich spectrum of resources.
Together, Main libraries serve over 675,000 residents of all ages. Patrons of member libraries have access to over 3.1 million items including eBooks, eAudiobooks, Blu-rays, DVDs, music, museum passes, video games, and of course, books. Main libraries also offer a substantial amount of programming, public meeting space, research assistance, lectures, cultural events, public classes, art exhibitions and more.
To enhance the value of every member library with high quality shared services and technology. Main member libraries, committees and staff collaborate to amplify their collective and individual resources. Their efforts form the basis for development opportunities and partnerships within the community.
Main aspires to encourage, lead and support member libraries and the communities they serve to readily access a diverse and innovative selection of enriching, entertaining and informative resources.
Main was originally created in 1979 to help oversee the initial automation of local library systems. Over time, it has evolved into a full-fledged public library cooperative incorporated as a nonprofit organization which offers its members cost-sharing opportunities, library automation services, technical support, and an organizational structure conducive to collaboration and efficient management of tax dollars.
Main is also a proud member of the NJ Open Borrowing program, which enables Main library patrons to borrow materials from all other libraries outside of Main participating in Open Borrowing.
As the Main Library Alliance’s membership expands, there is an increased opportunity to maximize return on investment on tax dollars, provide improved access to a greater amount of materials, and focus on innovation.
Main and its member libraries are a critical component to the growth and quality of life in our communities. However, libraries in NJ have experienced a decrease in funding (average 5% since 2009), while costs have increased. Additionally, the needs and expectations of the public continue to evolve, and the costs for services are outpacing funding.
Libraries are invited to investigate membership in Main by contacting the central office at their convenience.