The HELIN Library Consortium is composed of eight academic libraries and eight special libraries. The academic libraries are represented by the Community College of Rhode Island, the Dominican House of Studies, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, and Wheaton College.
The hospital special libraries, members of the Association of Rhode Island Health Sciences Libraries (ARIHSL), are represented by Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island, Women & Infants Hospital, and the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center.
The Rhode Island State Law Library, also known as the Supreme Court Library, is HELIN's newest special library.
HELIN serves a population of over 70,000 students, faculty, and staff at campus locations throughout Rhode Island, Colorado, Florida, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, and Virginia. Library patrons have access to approximately 6 million items, including books, periodicals, electronic resources, videos, and audio materials, in a shared library catalog. Borrowing library resources is reciprocal among member libraries and is facilitated through online catalog requests. The requested material is delivered using a delivery system maintained through the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services.
A Board of Directors, consisting of the library directors from each of the ten full member libraries and the HELIN Executive Director, governs the HELIN Library Consortium. The Board of Directors also includes four elected representatives, who, along with the Executive Director, and the Past President of the Board comprise the HELIN Executive Board.
The HELIN Consortium was incorporated in 2005 and is bound by an "Agreement for Integrated Library and Information Services" signed by all parties. HELIN practices Policy Governance<font="x-small">® and is governed by a Policy Governance® Manual that contains our mission and goals. HELIN has a set of Bylaws that are based upon the "Agreement for Integrated Library and Information Services," and the bylaws are an extension of that document. In order to support the intellectual freedom of the members of its constituent libraries the HELIN Consortium maintains a HELIN Policy on Confidentiality of Records. HELIN also has numerous Affinity Groups and Task Forces comprised of staff of the various member libraries.
The HELIN Consortium was formed in 1984, when the libraries of the three state institutions of higher education, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island, began a cooperative agreement to share an automated circulation system. In time, the automated circulation system was replaced by a multi-functional automated library system purchased from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. In 1990, Roger Williams University joined HELIN, followed by Providence College in 1992, Johnson & Wales University in 1997, Salve Regina University in 1999, Bryant College in 2001, Brown University in 2002, both the Dominican House of Studies and the fifteen health sciences libraries in 2003, and Wheaton College in 2005. Joining in 2009 The Rhode Island State Law Library, also known as the Supreme Court Library, is HELIN's newest member.
In 2016, the HELIN Board of Directors voted to move to a new Integrated Library System. OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS) will be the new ILS for the HELIN Library Consosrtium beginning in January, 2017.