The mission of the Fenway Library Organization is to support education and research at its member institutions through a state-of-the-art library system that delivers reliable and relevant information services and promotes resource sharing.
FLO provides a combined database with the holdings and circulation status of over 900,000 books and other materials from member libraries. Fast and economical access to the books themselves is provided through the Massachusetts Library System delivery system.
FLO is primarily funded through membership fees and receives significant support through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).
FLO costs less than it would to mount a standalone system in each library. It affords individual libraries the benefit of highly qualified technical staff to run the system and be available to consult on automation issues in member libraries. Certain expenses, such as authority work done by a commercial vendor, could not be borne by each of the ten libraries separately. It provides the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies such as e-books and digital repositories at a greatly reduced cost.
Shared learning, responsibility, and decision-making on such complex issues and processes as automation, quality control, journal access, and disaster planning are done with greater efficiency in the consortial setting.
Professional and support level staff are constantly challenged and educated by their interactions with peers in the FLO consortium. Operational committees provide opportunities for staff to participate and grow in their work. FLO also offers professional development opportunities via workshops sponsored by Colleges of the Fenway.
FLO provides to all its members the benefit of statewide recognition and allows the separate institutions to speak with one voice in statewide planning.