Category Archives: Consortia

Cross-Institutional Collaboration in Ireland

Maria Rogers and Keith Brittle presented “The Benefits of Cross-Institutional Collaboration” at the DBS Annual Library Seminar on June 13, 2014. They even gave a plug for the journal on page 7 (PDF). Thanks!


This presentation discusses inter-institutional collaboration in the Higher Education sector in Ireland with a particular focus on academic library collaborative initiatives and networks. It begins by asking ‘what is collaboration’? and where collaboration sits within a continuum of partnership. It highlights that true collaboration requires invested parties to relinquish a certain degree of autonomy in order to achieve a common goal. Key collaborative networks and initiatives within the sector are listed with a particular focus on the history of collaboration between academic libraries. Collaboration between private higher education institutions is discussed with particular emphasis on perceived barriers and changes that are bringing about increased collaboration. Cooperative and collaborative exchanges between DBS and NCI are also discussed as well as opportunities for future collaborative projects.

Whither Library Consortia?

Check out my editorial on consortia in the latest issue of Collaborative Librarianship v5, n3.  Valerie Horton

“There were two significant waves of consortia growth; the first in the 1960s and 1970s, and a second in the 1990s and early 2000 spurred by access to online resources.  Library consortia numbers declined significantly after the 2008 Great Recession, and many consortia are continuing to struggle.  The stability of existing funding sources remains a major concern across all remaining library consortia, even well-established and well-funded consortia…. There are signs that the national situation for consortia is stabilizing, but it would not be surprising if more consortia were lost over the next few years…. The final answer to “Whither Library Consortia?” is not yet certain, but if past is prologue, the future of library consortia should be interesting to watch!”

Been wondering about the new Orbis Cascade System?

Selecting a Shared 21st Century Management System

This paper describes the factors that led the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a 37 institution academic library con-sortium in the Pacific Northwest, to move to a shared library management system. The steps that the Al-liance and its 37 member libraries took over a period of years are summarized, including the work of sev-eral 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. Read the article

Successful collaboration in collection development

Emily Guhde from NC LIVE presented “Playing nicely with others: Using data to guide successful collaboration in collection development” at the Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference today, March 20, 2013.

Abstract – “Are you working with other libraries to expand your access to electronic resources? Come learn from the collaboration challenges overcome by NC LIVE, North Carolina’s state-wide online library consortium. We will share strategies for using data to develop shared collections and measure collaborative success.”

Nice job Emily.

Consortium Makes Radical Shift Away From ILS

The Digital Shift, Dec 19, 12

Excerpt: “Academic libraries have a choice: we can collaborate, or we can die,” said William Jordan, the associate dean of the University of Washington Libraries, an Alliance member. “The move from separate stand-alone systems to a truly shared library management platform is radical, but it opens the door to realizing the strategic vision of deep collaboration that we hold across the Alliance.”

Library Consortium Survey Request

Dear Colleague,

We are working on a book for ALA Editions, Library Consortia in the 21st Century, and request your assistance in providing information to benefit our colleagues in library consortia (slated for 2013 publication).

We will use the data from this survey in the aggregate or as examples without attribution to specific organizations. However, it may be important to share some information in the context of a specific organization. We will contact you directly to seek permission prior to use that identifies a specific institution.

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Major Consortium Union Catalog announced

Orbis Cascade Alliance Selects Ex Libris Alma and Primo

Alliance members will replace the separate library systems of 37 institutions with shared, next-generation library management and discovery solutions from Ex Libris

Chicago, IL, and Eugene, OR—October 9, 2012

Ex Libris® Group, a global leader in library automation services, and the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 North American academic institutions known for innovative collaboration, are pleased to announce that the Alliance will implement the Ex Libris Alma unified resource management solution and Primo® discovery solution.

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The Power of Groups: Collaboration and Innovation (OCLC)

“Consortia are experimenting with new forms of collaboration to improve their services, demonstrate their value and increase the visibility of their members. During ALA, we hosted a session that featured three individuals from different consortia. These presentations demonstrate creative approaches to new ventures through strong partnerships.”

Power Of Groups TRLN

Power Of Groups KYPL

Power Of Groups Orbis Cascade


IMLS-Funded Grant for Improving Access

March 26, 2012
For Immediate Release – please distribute broadly

Last fall, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a national Leadership Grant to the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah on behalf of three consortia: (a) Utah Academic Library Consortium’s Mountain West Digital Library, (b) Orbis Cascade Alliance’s Northwest Digital Archives, and (c) Rocky Mountain Online Archive, hosted by the University of New Mexico.

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Amigos Library Services and Missouri Library Network Corporation Announce Agreement to Explore Merger Combination Will Create One of the Nation’s Largest Library Service Organizations

Press Release
Dallas, TX — Amigos Library Services, a leading library membership organization based in Dallas, and the Missouri Library Network Corporation (MLNC), a similar St. Louis-based library membership organization, today announced that they have entered into a working agreement to explore merging operations. If the organizations merge, Amigos will be the largest library consortium west of the Mississippi River, comprised of approximately 1,000 libraries and cultural heritage institutions in 22 states.

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