GPALS, or Georgia's Private Academic Libraries, is a consortium of libraries of privately supported institutions of higher education in Georgia. It is a mixed group, composed of the libraries of both non-profit and for-profit institutions.
GPALS was organized in 1995-1996, during the time when the statewide virtual library initiative, GALILEO, was begun by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Since its inception, funding for GALILEO has supported only the participation of Board of Regents colleges and universities. However, from the beginning of the GALILEO project, the Board of Regents was amenable to the participation of other Georgia library consortia on a fee basis. Private college library directors from several institutions began a discussion which resulted in the formation of the GPALS consortium. This effort was led by the late Bob Richardson of Young-Harris College, Gene Ruffin of Piedmont College, and Lance Foldes of Berry College.
Initially, the group was composed of private, non-profit institutions, but as organizational efforts gathered momentum, the organizers solicited libraries of for-profit, or proprietary, colleges and universities as members. The purpose of this move was to grow as large a group FTE as possible and thus drive down costs of participation. It was this mixed group of non-profit and for-profit institutions that was successful with negotiating access to GALILEO and the founding members of GPALS began participation in GALILEO in fall 1996.
Since that time, the group has grown considerably in size and has developed sharing agreements for interlibrary loan and for reciprocal borrowing privileges. Subsets of the whole consortium have developed their own purchasing agreements, notably for H.W. Wilson's Omnifile products.Please consult the following documents to learn more about GPALS' membership, organization, and governance.