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 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, JobNow and Chiltons.

Group subscription and access to the OCLC CatExpress utility for catalogers at each library.

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 in BookMyne and taking the library out of the library building with MobileCirc 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 2 FTE’s, comprised of an Automation Librarian and a System Support Technician/Server Manager. 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
System Support Technician/Server Manager – Robert D. Sundstrom