decorative banner image

Shared Library Resources


The Office of Higher Education assists in the development of shared library resources. The agency oversees Minitex, a publicly supported network of academic, public, state government, and special libraries working cooperatively to improve library service for their users. In turn, Minitex supports the Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK), a statewide virtual library that electronically links the catalogs of the majority of Minnesota libraries.


Minitex is an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities libraries. Funded by the Minnesota Legislature through the Office of Higher Education, Minitex supports libraries serving higher education communities. Through contracts with the Minnesota Department of Education's State Library Services, Minitex also provides services for Minnesota public, school, and special libraries. Libraries in North Dakota and South Dakota participate in Minitex programs through contracts with the North and South Dakota State Libraries.

As a division of the University of Minnesota Libraries, Minitex programs contribute to the University's land grant mission and outreach programs for the citizens and communities in the state. More about Minitex.

Through the Minnesota Knows portal, Minnesotans have direct access to a suite of electronic information resources including:

  • MnLINK Gateway - search library catalogs and make requests for library materials held in Minnesota libraries.
  • Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) - search a wide variety of subscription databases (newspapers, electronic books, etc.) made available through legislative appropriations and statewide contracts.
  • Minnesota Reflections - find photos, documents and maps related to Minnesota history.
  • AskMN - ask reference questions online, 24 hours a day.
  • Research Project Calculator - plan your homework assignments (a tool for middle & high school students).


The Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK) is a statewide virtual library electronically linking the online catalogs of Minnesota libraries' collections.

Funded since 1997, MnLINK Discovery lets Minnesotans search and request materials online from catalogs at over 20 Minnesota library systems. MnLINK participating libraries include the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota's public library systems, state government, private colleges, K-12 schools, and special libraries. By using a public library card barcode number Minnesotans can:

  • Access the MnLINK Gateway from their library, home or office.
  • Search multiple libraries and databases at once.
  • Request materials for delivery.
  • Search the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) to view and download articles.