SELCO, Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, and SELS, Southeast Library System, are sister organizations sharing geographic boundaries and fostering cooperation among all types of libraries in the 11 southeastern counties. SELCO was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit corporation and is governed by a Board of Directors. SELS contracts with SELCO to provide multitype library services and is governed by the same Board. This integrated approach to regional library service ensures a high level of efficiency and effective communication.
SELCO is one of Minnesota's 12 regional public library systems. The membership is comprised of a federation of locally autonomous public libraries and 11 counties. This unique blend of rural and urban members presents challenges and surprises in meeting the diverse needs of the consortium members and the patrons served by the libraries.
SELCO partners with participating libraries to ensure equitable access to quality service. SELCO solicits member input when designing and providing services. The current product line includes:
- Managing a variety of technology services that includes operating the regional integrated library system for the resource sharing of over 3.5 million items.
- Providing delivery among libraries and handling approximately 4,000 items daily.
- Providing public and staff access to the Internet and managing a wide-area telecommunications network.
- Licensing a variety of electronic resources to supplement conventional library materials and free online sources.
- Providing continuing education opportunities to library staff, trustees, and library volunteers.
- Advocating on behalf of libraries with local, state, and national elected and appointed officials.
- Supporting library programs for library patrons of all ages.
- Undertaking grant writing to supplement SELCO basic operational budget and programs.
SELS is one of Minnesota's seven multi-county, multitype library systems. Its voluntary membership is comprised academic, public, school, and special libraries.
The SELS Advisory Committee is elected by the member libraries and provides advice on SELS programs and services. The current SELS focus includes resource sharing, automation support, training, and advocacy as priority services.
SELS Membership Agreement outlines basic tenants of library cooperation.