Membership in the Maine Regional Library System

Title 27, Chapter 4 of the Maine State Statutes authorized the creation of the Maine Regional Library System (MRLS) of the Maine State Library in 1973.  The goal of the MRLS is to increase public awareness, use and support of Maine libraries, facilitate professional development, encourage resource sharing and regional cooperation, foster literacy, improve communication among libraries, library organizations and other groups and foster improved library service.

The MRLS is comprised of 3 districts.  Libraries in each district have access to services from an Area Reference and Resource Center (ARRC) library and a district library consultant.  The three districts and their respective ARRCS are:

Central Maine                             Northeastern Maine                    Southern Maine
Augusta                                        Bangor                                         Portland
Maine State Library                        Bangor Public Library                    Portland Public Library

Benefits of district membership include:

  • Eligibility for the MSLN Internet connection worth a minimum of $6,100/year (If the library meets E-rate eligibility requirements in both federal and state statute)
  • Access to MARVEL databases including AncestryLibrary and LearningExpress
  • Eligibility for new grants and programs from the Maine State Library
  • Eligibility for van delivery
  • Eligibility for continuing education stipends from the districts
  • Maine State Library Directory listing
  • LSTA eligibility for E-rate phone discounts and other IMLS grants
  • SCOOP purchasing cooperative discounts for library materials, supplies and furnishings
  • Consulting services
  • ARRC services including Interlibrary Loan

General Membership Criteria

District membership is free to all types of libraries located within the geographic boundary of the district.  Any library may join the Maine Regional Library System if it meets the following criteria:

  • Be a part of an organization or institution that has a legal basis for operation and provides information resources;
  • Have a written mission statement and service objectives;
  • Have an established funding base;
  • Be authorized to participate by its appropriate administrative authority;
  • Have established and posted hours of service;
  • Have a fixed location;
  • Have a permanent, paid (either a salary or a stipend) library director with library services training and who is responsible for the administration of library services;
  • Have an organized collection of information and material accessible for use by its designated clientele and/or the public;
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the Maine Regional Library System membership agreement as established by the Maine Library Commission. This agreement shall include certification by each member library that it meets the minimum eligibility requirements for participation, agrees to participate in interlibrary loan activities within the state in accordance with the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and agrees to provide data on the use of regional and statewide library materials and services

Public Library Membership Criteria

Public libraries seeking district membership must adhere to the Core Public Library Standards approved by the Maine Library Commission.