CLIC emerged from a setting in the 1950s and 1960s that promoted cooperation among librarians, institutions, and funding agencies. Throughout its existence the primary objective has been to improve library service to the various libraries’ users.
Supported by funds from the Hill Family Foundation, the J.J. Hill Reference Library and some private colleges worked on joint projects including two union lists of serials holdings in 1954 and 1959. Fairly regular meetings of the library directors continued from 1959 to 1969 when a statement of cooperative practices was reaffirmed by the libraries:
1. Reciprocal circulation and reference
3. Cooperative acquisitions, and
4. Union list of periodicals.