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About the NNELS Connector

A connector allows NNELS to communicate directly with an Integrated Library System (ILS) to determine if a patron is, eligible to access the full contents of the NNELS collection.

The connector ensures that user registration and eligibility is handled by local libraries in accordance with local policy, and to protect patron privacy.

How it Works

Patrons can log into NNELS using their library card number and PIN so long as a patron's borrower type is set correctly in the library’s ILS and there are no blocks on the account.

The connector uses either the Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP2), for which we have a secure tunnel, or Web Services protocol. With every login, the connector verifies the following information with the library’s ILS:

  • a correct library barcode number and PIN,
  • an eligible borrower type, which must be set correctly by library staff,
  • an absence of blocks, such as expired card or maximum fines, as determined by the library.


NNELS does not log the PIN number, collect any personal information from the library’s ILS, nor collect patron transaction information such as the number of titles downloaded by individuals or who downloads specific books.

NNELS does record the library card number for future logins and collects anonymized organization-level information including the number of users and downloads per library.

Library Requirements

Libraries must provide their own SIP2 or Web Services capability.

NNELS has connectors for the following ILS systems:

  • Evergreen (Sitka and Spruce)
  • Horizon/Symphony
  • Library Solutions
  • Millenium/Sierra
  • Polaris

If your library has a different ILS with SIP2 or Web Services capability, we may be able to build a new connector. Send us your ILS details and we will see what we can do.


Libraries in participating provinces (AB, BC, MB, NS, NU, NWT, SK, YT) have their connector costs covered by existing provincial funding. If your library is not in a participating province please contact us to find out about connector options and pricing.

Some libraries may need to purchase an additional SIP license for their ILS. Please check with your ILS vendor.


The alternative to a connector is using “manual accounts” for libraries using a non-supported ILS. In these cases, we collect the applicant's library card number, name, and email address and/or phone number.  This information is routed to the individual's home library, where the library's NNELS User Manager uses this information to verify patron eligibility and either approves or cancels the new account.

Post-Secondary Libraries

Post-secondary libraries may access NNELS by signing an annual agreement for free access, and charges will apply to post-secondary libraries choosing to have a connector. While post-secondary libraries can benefit from full access to the NNELS collection, NNELS is a service for public libraries and so post-secondary libraries are not eligible to request titles for production.


For more information, please contact us: