Valerie Horton reflects on the first five years of the Collaborative Librarianship publication. We have built a strong literature base with over 135 articles, reviews, columns, and editorials examining many aspects of collaboration in libraries. Looking over the last five years of journal content, it is clear that our profession’s view of collaboration has been evolving.
This article is a summary of the second Moving Mountains Conference on the physical delivery of materials. The Conference was held in Cincinnati in September 2008. An ad hoc group of librarians involved in delivery regularly meet to discuss best practices and new applications. This article covers similarities between the logistic industry and libraries, a survey of physical delivery practitioners, and new trends in home delivery and automatic material handling systems. The growth of physical delivery, models of delivery, vendor relationships, and the Rethinking Resource Sharing group are also discussed.
In Valerie Horton's first editorial as new co-general editor for Collaborative Librarianship, she chooses to reconsider what collaboration means in our new economic realities.
Collaborative Librarianship has an impressive Advisory Board, none more so than the brilliant, original, and always challenging Stephen Abram. Abram has a long and distinguished career as illustrated by the biography below, but it isn’t just his achievements that set Abram apart. He is a strong supporter of library cooperation and rethinking our profession. He is also fearlessness in confronting our sacred cows and hidebound thinking. At conferences, his audiences come away with Abram’s clear voice echoing a sober but potentially bright future for libraries; and occasionally they leave angry, stirred up by his bold willingness to tackle controversial topics.
Valerie Horton defines and discusses "deep collaboration." Deep collaboration is two or more people or organizations contributing substantial levels of personal or organizational commitment, including shared authority, joint responsibility, and robust resources allocation, to achieve a common or mutually-beneficial goal.
Since the 2008 recession, library consortia have been struggling. Research for an upcoming book found that 21% of consortia surveyed in a large 2007 American Library Association survey had closed or merged. Of particular note, was the well-known merger of SOLINET, PALINET, NELINET, and BCR into LYRASIS. Regional library systems were particularly hard hit by the loss of state funding, with some systems closings in California and Texas. Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Illinois combined regional library systems into small organizations. Clearly, a lot has been happening in library consortia in the past few years as borne out in several recent surveys on library consortia in America.
The volume of materials shipped between libraries and branches has grown very quickly. This growth caused service and budget problems for libraries, library networks, and commercial couriers. NISO formed a working group comprised of practitioners from various types of libraries and systems to recommend practices to improve performance and reduce costs for moving physical materials between libraries. The recommended practices include an introduction and sections related to management, automation, the physical move, and the future. In addition to describing the recommended practices, the authors briefly review the cause of the growth in library delivery volume, i.e., the development of patron-placed hold capability in integrated library systems and the issues and reactions in the library delivery community resulting from the rapid growth, as well as prospects for a future with declining delivery volume.
Todd Carpenter, the Managing Director of NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, is a leading player in promoting research through the creation of standard and best practices related to information exchange and management. NISO provides the environment for bringing key organizations together to reach complex and often difficult agreements. As Carpenter says, “One of NISO’s most important principles is ensuring all the relevant players have an opportunity to sit at the table, in an open and fostering environment that is supported by participatory and well-established rules for engagement.” This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.
Ms. Rona Wade, CEO of UNILINC based in Sydney, Australia, was appointed to the Advisory Board of Collaborative Librarianship. UNILINC, a robust consortium serving 22 libraries of several types across Australia, offers a number of services including cataloging, electronic content loading and presentation, interlibrary loan and document delivery, training and shared online catalogs. Its most recent initiatives focus on next generation integrated library systems. This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.
Shipping materials via a library courier service is much cheaper than shipping via the U.S. Postal Service. Most library delivery services are regional or state-based. This article illustrates how two separate services combined to development the multi-state courier system COKAMO. COKAMO is moving tens of thousands of items between three states at a fraction of U.S. Postal Service rates. Within one year of implementing the system, over 57,000 items have been shipped, creating savings of over $215,000 for participating libraries. Significant changes in the behavior of interlibrary loan staff throughout the region are evidenced in statistics which show an increase in borrowing between participating states and a decline in interlibrary loan to adjacent states not in COKAMO.