Minitex is a publicly supported information and resource sharing program for academic, government, public and specialized libraries in the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It is a joint effort of the Minnesota State Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. Minitex is funded by the Minnesota State Legislature to serve higher education communities, and it also provides services for public, school, and specialized libraries in Minnesota through contracts with the Minnesota Department of Education. Libraries in North Dakota and South Dakota participate in Minitex programs through contracts between the Minitex Office and the North and South Dakota State Libraries. There is also reciprocity with Wisconsin libraries.
The purpose of Minitex is to enhance library effectiveness by expanding information resources for libraries and providing services to their users. Minitex programs are coordinated by University of Minnesota Libraries staff. As a division of the University of Minnesota, the services contribute to the University of Minnesota's land grant mission to provide outreach to the citizens of the state.
Through the Minnesota Knows (MnKnows) portal, Minnesota citizens have direct access to the catalogs and collections of a wide range of worldwide, regional and local libraries. It also provides such services as:
- AskMN: a service that handles reference questions online, 24 hours a day.
- Research Project Calculator: A tool middle & high school students can use to plan homework assignments
- Loans and copies from the University of Minnesota Libraries and other resource sharing services;
- Referrals to other specialized libraries for request fulfillment
- Group discounts for scholarly and other databases of Minnesota libraries
- Minnesota Library Access Center, a shared collection storage service
- Administrative services for the Minnesota Digital Library.
- Minitex, Minnesota Office of Higher Education