Why Libraries Collaborate

Findings from the US Library Survey 2016

(19 April 2017) While academic libraries in the United States have actively collaborated with each other for more than 100 years, the digital turn has brought an explosion of interest in and pursuit of cross-institutional collaboration. These include large-scale digital access and preservation initiatives like HathiTrust, print preservation and access collaborations like Scholar’s Trust and WEST, metropolitan-level efforts ranging broadly from the Chicago Collections Alliance to MARLI, unmediated borrowing such as ConnectNY, and, of burgeoning strategic importance, the collaborations enabled through cloud-based library services platforms for consortia and systems like Orbis Cascade. These models differ broadly, as do their impact and prospects, but the level of interest and investment is undeniable.

Earlier this month, Ithaka S+R published results from the US Library Survey 2016, which examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors. A summary of the findings is here.