Celebrating 40 Years of Library Partnership | 47 Library systems team up to provide service throughout Northeast Ohio

For over 40 years, CLEVNET has demonstrated the power of cooperation and shared expertise by connecting Northeast Ohio users to a collection of shared materials and research far greater than individual member libraries could provide alone. 

CLEVNET is the brainchild of former Cleveland Public Library Director Dr. Ervin Gaines, who in 1979 wanted a regional bibliographic database. What started as an automation project for card cataloging and circulation procedures quickly became an opportunity for regional libraries to share resources. CLEVNET formed on December 1, 1982, when Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library signed an agreement with Cleveland Public Library. 40 years later, CLEVNET has 47 member libraries and operates in 12 counties. Members can offer their communities resources that might have otherwise been out of reach.

“It’s no secret that Ohio is home to some of the best libraries in the country. CLEVNET is a shining example that libraries are one of the best investments taxpayers add to their communities,” said Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library. “One library card unlocks the doors for patrons to 47 library systems while allowing those systems to stay independent.”

Using CLEVNET is simple. As a cardholder, you can:

  • Borrow materials, place holds, and have items delivered to any of our participating CLEVNET libraries
  • Return CLEVNET materials to any library in the consortium
  • Check your library account, place holds, and renew material online through the “My Account” feature
  • Access our Research Databases to explore and research such topics as car repair, genealogy, consumer information, and medical information
  • Connect to our eMedia services to enjoy eBooks, audiobooks, music, comics, magazines and videos from your computer, tablet, or smartphone

A Good Investment

In 2009, economic analysts, Driscoll & Fleeter, discovered CLEVNET provides a collective cost savings of more than $30 million to the region, which resulted from libraries being able to share cataloging services, administration, computer equipment, and professional support, as well as to consolidate circulation. Such savings translated into an average $6 return for every dollar invested by CLEVNET libraries. In addition, it was determined that, each year, the cumulative value of accessed research and items borrowed or downloaded in the CLEVNET system nears $27 million. More than one million library cardholders from Sandusky to Fairport Harbor to Wooster have benefited from CLEVNET resources.

“40 years later, CLEVNET has 47 member libraries and with this latest study completed by Howard Fleeter & Associates, we are providing an astonishing 19:1 return on investment for our patrons,” adds Jamie Mason, Director of Rocky River Public Library and Chair of the CLEVNET Executive Panel. “Our figures showed an immediate $100,000 savings after joining and we continue to benefit from the combined purchasing of valuable resources and services.”

“Our partnership has shown that we’re stronger together,” said John Malcolm, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer of Cleveland Public Library. “CLEVNET not only expands the collections of libraries but strengthens their technological capabilities. With a shared system, we’re able to purchase and integrate tools together that make it easier for allow users to connect to their libraries.”

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Library cards are available to adults, children, and teens who reside, work, or attend an educational institution in Ohio. Nearly 12 million items are readily available to you through CLEVNET.  So, what are you waiting for? Contact your local CLEVNET library to get a library card today!