The COMPASS Project

COMPASS began in 1996 as a joint automation project of the Arrowhead Library System and seven of its member public libraries. Since then, the project has grown to include over 50 public, school and special libraries in the region. COMPASS provides:
An Integrated Library System (ILS) that allows participants to automate important library operations such as circulation, cataloging, inventory, serials, and acquisitions.

A shared catalog that reflects the collections of participating libraries, and promotes sharing of library material across the region.

A gateway to participate in MnLINK–the statewide catalog for Minnesota allowing the sharing of materials across the entire state.

Access to electronic books, audiobooks, and periodicals with a region-wide OverDrive collection and eBooksMN.

Internet services for public libraries, including staff e-mail and high speed access to the World Wide Web.

Group subscription to remote databases including Ebsco’s Novelist and Gale’s Biography Resource Center, HelpNow, and JobNow.

Access to BLUECloud Central for catalogers at each library with supplemental access to BookWhere and OCLC Connexion.

In 2001-2002, the COMPASS group developed an RFP with requirements for a second generation automation system. After reviewing written responses and demonstrations by several automation vendors, COMPASS chose Dynix as its new automation vendor. Migration to Horizon took place in 2003.

Today we continue to implement new technology with Sirsi-Dynix with their BLUE CLoud apps for accessing the library catalog on mobile devices through BookMyne, the development of the Enterprise public catalog discovery platform integrating digital and physical items for library patron online access, implementation of Analytics report generating tool, and taking the library out of the library building with MobileStaff for circulation and new patron registrations.


COMPASS staff oversee the installation and operation of all COMPASS online systems. Problems may be reported to ALS staff at

COMPASS has a staff of 3 FTE’s, comprised of an Automation Librarian, Systems Analyst and a System Support Technician. Staff are on duty from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We can be reached at the Arrowhead System offices by calling 218/741-3840 or emailing

Automation Librarian – Chris Magnusson
Systems Analyst – Chadd Niles
System Support Technician – Robert D. Sundstrom