College, consortium, collaboration, collective collection

Constance Malpas and I gave a presentation to the Boston Library Consortium Board of Directors about the dynamics of library collaboration in consortia. It talks about collective collections as an example.

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Presentation

Although library collaboration is common and many libraries collaborate through many organizations, it is a relatively unexamined aspect of library work. Many descriptions exist, but little from the point of view of organization and motivation. In this presentation, Constance Malpas and I presented a framework for thinking about library collaboration and drew out some of the challenges successful collaborations face. We emphasized that collaboration is a set of strategic and tactical choices, that it is very influenced by people and politics, and that collective action poses problems.

These dynamics are very much alive in questions around collective collections. The presentation looked briefly at these. It considered retrospective collection coordination (digitization, resource sharing, shared print) which currently tends to be layered over relatively autonomously developed collections, optimized at the institutional level, and prospective collection development (where libraries work together to optimize at the system level through collaborative collection development, licensing and so on).

College, consortium, collaboration, collective collection
A presentation to the Board of Directors of Boston Library Consortium. Although library collaboration is common and many libraries collaborate through many organizations, it is a relatively unexamined aspect of library work. Many descriptions exist, but little from the point of view of organization …
Dempsey, Lorcan; Malpas, Constance (2021): College, consortium, collaboration, collective collection. figshare. Presentation. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.13669619.v1

Other material

Here is an earlier presentation about the dynamics of collaboration, presented to ICOLC.

Library consortia: scale, opportunity, challenge
This presentation describes some of the dynamics, challenges and opportunities for consortia. It was presented at the ICOLC meeting in Vancouver (8 April 2019).

Our thinking is influenced by the work we did with BTAA.

Operationalizing the BIG Collective Collection: A Case Study of Consolidation vs Autonomy
Prepared in collaboration with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Library Initiatives, this report presents a framework for operationalizing the BTAA collective collection—a collection managed collaboratively across a network of libraries—and is focused specifically on the ”purchased” or print col…

And some thoughts on collaboration.

The powers of library consortia 1: how consortia scale capacity, learning, innovation and influence
Libraries and related organizations group together in a variety of ways to get their work done. They consort where there are scale advantages: to lobby, for example, to negotiate and license, to reduce costs, or to build shared infrastructure.

Picture: I took the picture of 'We live here' by Christina Grote. It is the tiled surface of a park bench in Gahanna, Ohio, supported by the Gahanna Parks and Recreation Foundation.

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