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.
Lori Bowen Ayre shares her thoughts on how a library should approach the development of a RFP (Request for Proposal).
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.