UPLIFT Grant: The Economics of Consortia class

Joanne Taylor received an UPLIFT Professional Development grant in 2009. One class she attended through the grant was Economics of Information.  Here are her thoughts on just one piece of the puzzle:

The Economics of Consortia

“Libraries have long engaged in cooperative ventures.  Government documents and interlibrary loans are two of the older and better-recognized cooperative arrangements among libraries.  Cooperation among libraries offers participating libraries broader collections of resources to meet many and varied user information needs and often at lower cost to participating libraries.  Where it would not be feasible for all libraries to house the many materials that each of their users might seek; through cooperation there is created a much broader collection that all participants may access.  The concept of sharing resources has recently expanded as electronic resources and the Internet now make broad information access possible at many levels.  On-line catalogs have made it possible for information seekers to view the collections of many libraries using computers from most locations.  Electronic media provide full-text books and journal articles, again for information seekers living and seeking from computers at almost any location.  These information opportunities have lead to the development of more extensive and creative collaboration among libraries.  Further, digitization is opening the possibility for information seekers world-wide to see replications of objects, including books and manuscripts, that have long been protected in secure archival libraries and previously only accessible to limited numbers of scholars. These new media have created opportunities for cooperation among libraries and even expanding circles of cooperation among consortia.  Resource sharing may well expand as current economic conditions constrict library budgets. One might anticipate that further emphasis will be placed on consortial relationships where participants may provide broader access to resources at lower cost.”

I really do appreciate how the State Library has offered this support.  Thanks for all you do.

Joanne Taylor