Hirshon, A. (1999), "Library consortia come of age", Library Consortium Management: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1/2. https://doi.org/10.1108/lcmij.1999.24701aaa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited
Library consortia come of age
Library consortia come of age
Although cooperation among libraries has been an international tradition for decades, the phenomenal growth of consortia over the past decade clearly has been fueled by the rapid transformation made possible through technology. Today, many libraries are already a part of one or more consortia, and those that are not are rapidly taking steps to develop these strategic partnerships with other libraries. Although the consortium movement initially was most pronounced in academic libraries, today public, school and even corporate libraries are exploring new ways to provide shared services and to reduce their costs through consortial purchasing.
The rapid maturity of library consortia is reflected in the development of this journal, which is unique in the field and dedicated to addressing our special concerns. Library Consortium Management: An International Journal (LCM:IJ) will serve as a forum for discussion of, and dissemination of knowledge about, the theory and practice of the management of library consortia around the world. The journal editorial board reflects the perspectives of the various stakeholders in library consortia, including library directors, consortium executive directors, publishers, information industry vendors, and directors of information technology within library organizations. The articles in this first issue also reflect the rich international diversity and working perspectives of our readership. The four contributors to this issue are located on four continents and come from the fields of library consortium management, publishing, and the library vendor community:
Rona Wade, a consortium director in Australia, provides an excellent overview about the governance, organization and management practices of multiple consortia in different parts of the world.
Karen Hunter, located in the USA but representing an international publisher, writes from the publisher perspective about the benefits and challenges that consortia bring.
Colin Darch (a consortium director), Joan Rapp (a library director), and Peter Underwood (a library school director and consultant) write about the special challenges for libraries and their consortia in advancing but developing nations, with a particular emphasis on the experiences within South Africa.
Rollo Turner, representing the perspective of subscription agents, writes about the development of national site licenses, and notes the potential pitfalls of the NESLI model in the UK.
The gestation from idea to reality for LCM:IJ has been rather compressed. This first issue comes to you less than six months after I was approached by the publishers to create a journal about the pressing issues facing consortium directors, practicing librarians, publishers, and vendors in the brave new world of library consortia. Over the coming months and years, we expect to bring together the consortium community to expand our understanding of how and why we exist, and how we can improve our operations in the future.
A key feature of Library Consortium Management is that the primary format of publication is electronic. Although a print cumulation is available, it is the belief of the editorial board and of the publisher that library consortia are strongly concerned with advancing the availability of electronic information, and that this journal should reflect the values of our audience. For that reason, we also have a companion electronic discussion forum that we expect will be the definitive location worldwide to enable the discussion of key strategic and tactical management decisions related to consortium management among librarians, publishers, and vendors. Issued about every two months, there will be new targeted topics introduced to encourage discussion. However, throughout the year we encourage consortium managers to use this discussion forum to gather information or engender discussion on any relevant topic. Readers are also encouraged to send in comments in response to the articles published in LCM:IJ. If you are not yet registered for this forum, you can do so through the Web site at http://www.mcb.co.uk/portfolio/lcm/jourhome.htm
Future issues of LCM:IJ will cover the wide range of topics of importance to library consortia, such as digital library development, electronic information licensing, the management of print and other traditional library resources, new and emerging consortium programs and services, and the governance and management of library consortia. Special columns will cover Web site reviews, book reviews, and other topics of interest. To ensure the success of this journal, the editorial board encourages the contribution of substantial content by authors throughout the world. If you may be interested in writing for LCM:IJ, please read the "Call for papers" in this issue, and check out the information on the Web site about contributions. We look forward to your readership, and your contributions.
Arnold HirshonEditor, Library Consortium Management: An International Journal