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.
This article summarizes a session at the 24th Annual North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) Conference held in Asheville, North Carolina on June 6, 2009. The presenter for the session, Roberta F. Woods of Franklin Pierce Law Center, gave the history behind the New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) development of an alternative to a federated search engine which they dubbed Universal Search Solution. The search tool helped the consortia libraries to resolve their problem of underutilized resources
This study focuses on consortia building among libraries in Africa, with special attention giv-en to Nigeria. It covers the various forms of library consortia: formal and informal as well as cooperative interchanges, including partnerships for resource sharing. Affirming the aim of consortia building as strengthening libraries and library services, the study considers the problems and prospects that are associated with consortia building in Africa and proposes a way forward. It concludes with an affirmation of the need to embrace consortia building among libraries in Africa and an emphasis on the key role ICT (Information and Communica-tion Technologies) plays in consortia development.
This paper describes the factors that led the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a 37 institution academic library consortium in the Pacific Northwest, to move to a shared library management system. The steps that the Alliance and its 37 member libraries took over a period of years are summarized, including the work of several research and planning groups and a formal Request for Information process. A subsequent Request for Proposal (RFP) process ended in the selection of Ex Libris Alma management system and Primo discovery services for Alliance libraries. The paper also describes the Alliance’s vision for the shared library management system, including collaborative technical services and cooperative collection development.
The Orbis Cascade Alliance is a consortium of 37 academic libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Recently, the Alliance completed the challenging task of organizing and completing a RFP for a shared Library Management Service and, currently, is in the initial stages of implementation. Editors of Collaborative Librarianship discussed this project with John F. Helmer, the Executive Director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.
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.
Patron-driven acquisition models for electronic and print books have become extremely popular in the past two years and in most cases this service has been implemented at many individual libraries. One unique collaborative model of patron-driven acquisition was created by the Orbis Cascade Alliance through a partnership with Ebook Library (EBL) and Yankee Book Peddler (YBP). This unique project is an example of libraries, consortia, and vendors working together to develop new business models during times of financial constraint, where libraries and consortia are exploring various “just-in-time” acquisition models. Collaborative Librarianship spoke with Greg Doyle about the project at Orbis Cascade.