Organizing Models of Library Consortia: forming sustainable participation among potential partners in India.

Pal, Jiban K.


Libraries are constantly grappling with ever-escalating cost of scholarly resources. Price escalation in e-resource subscriptions coupled with budgetary constraints has serious impact on libraries across the globe. This paper provides a brief historical sketch of library cooperation in the sixteenth century and beyond. It also critically examines the prevalent situations that have resulted emergence of resource sharing; truly emanated from library cooperatives, inter-library loan, buying clubs, subsequently utility services, sharing networks, site licensing, and ultimately the consortium – an emerging toolkit for libraries to survive. Thus gradual development of strategic alliances amongst libraries has been discussed with many flavors, thereby cautionary tales of library consortia growth in bewildering shapes are explained, and the success stories are noted.

The study demonstrates on a variety of consortia models that are being practiced (either operational or notional) in different circumstances. It draws attention to the importance of plenty of models for creating multiple provisions in consortia participation by the member-libraries of varying nature and scope. However, suggests for defining sustainability in consortia participation among the suitable partners; either by exploring an appropriate model or by forming strategic licensing and price negotiation. The implications of consortia models to the Indian libraries are discussed thoroughly. Therefore, this paper provides an insight into how consortia strategies can be made to defend an unending fiscal constraint, and to sustain the buying power in collection development for better access to greater resources. Thus it will characterize more promising and vibrant models of library consortia for reaping win-win situation in the modern libraries are prescribed.


Collaborative librarianship; strategic alliance; library consortium; consortia models; sustainable partnership; collection development.

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