A Brief History of NILRC

NILRC is one of the oldest community college learning resources cooperatives in the nation.  It began as a grassroots organization formed to meet the needs of Community College learning resource centers.  NILRC has become a leader in the development and use of a variety of instructional resources and technologies.

Legacy of Innovation

NILRC was one of the first organizations to foster satellite teleconferencing and satellite delivery of video resource materials. In the early 1980s it developed computerized online circulation control and records management system. The system, known as the Comprehensive Automated Learning Resources System (CALS), was the forerunner of today's commercial online circulation systems and OPACS.


The cooperative is governed by a board of directors representing each member institution. Board members have a variety of backgrounds and responsibilities on their campuses ranging from LRC deans to directors of educational technologies. This diversity enhances the organization, nurtures its projects, and facilitates the exchange of ideas and resources.


Institutions are either "full" or "associate" members. Full members have voting rights in the corporation. Full members attend board meetings and actively serve on standing committees.

Financial Support

The organization supports itself in three ways: membership dues, surcharge fees on group purchases, and investment income provide the operational budget income. A flat rate surcharge is placed on all group purchases coordinated by the corporate office.  Only those members who participate in given projects pay a surcharge.  Investments provide a small amount of operating revenue.