Sometimes being different is all about being the same. Take the state of South Australia for instance. Not too far, I hear they like where they are. They're rolling out a program to connect all the public libraries on the one library system with all the punters using the same card. Here is the news item: http://www.libraries.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=499
So it might take three years, but it'll connect almost a million SA residents with nearly five million items across more than 130 libraries and they'll soon be three years ahead of the rest of us.
It is more than time we looked at doing this as a nation. If we were as clever as we think we are, we'd have done it ages ago.
Thanks to @edwardshaddow (from WA) for alerting me to this.