Discussion Papers and Presentations

"Creating New Strategies for Cooperative Collection Development"

Conference Keynote Address Delivered By President Myles Brand of Indiana University:

"University Libraries as Agents of Change"

The following papers dealing with topics related to the Conference were submitted and accepted for the review of the participants. Synopses are provided by Milton Wolf of CRL, who has served as editor for the Conference papers. Additional papers may be added before the Conference as they become available.

With the exception of Papers #3, #11 and #18, these papers are presented as Adobe PDF files to preserve their formatting and graphical representations. To view them, you must have the Acrobat Reader program installed on your computer. The latest version of this free program can be downloaded at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html

Print copies of these papers were distributed to Conference participants upon registration at Aberdeen Woods.

1. "Changing the Role of Research Libraries in Scholarly Communication: The Development of BioOne"

by Adrian W. Alexander, Executive Director, Big 12 Plus Libraries Consortium, and Marilu Goodyear, Ph.D, Vice-Chancellor, Information Services, University of Kansas

Referencing the basic issues related to the economics of scholarly publishing, the authors outline an initiative that is underway and that hopes to offer a different scholarly communications model, especially in the sciences, than the present commercial one. This topic, which has become familiar to most academic librarians, particularly those involved in collection development, is at the center of a heated controversy about how the intellectual capital of the academy should be disseminated and at what cost. BioOne is a hybrid attempt to restore the effective management of intellectual property in order to protect and promote scholarly communication.

2. "Making the Common Uncommon? Examining Consortial Approval Plan Cooperation"

by Kim Armstrong, Program Officer, Triangle Research Libraries Network and Bob Nardini, Vice President & Head Bibliographer, YBP

This revealing study looks at the degree of approval plan overlap among TRLN libraries (Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); at circulation data for these overlapping titles; and at lists of titles not acquired within the consortium. The results shed light on the question of whether separate, uncoordinated approval plans already meet the need of the TRLN consortium, or if consortial approval plan cooperation might benefit the group. While the formal coordination of approval plan profiles has seldom been attempted among libraries, it seems certain that we are witnessing the beginning of macro-level approval plans and other such economy of scale services.

3. "The Changing Nature of Collection Management in Research Libraries"

by Joseph Branin, SUNY Stony Brook; Frances Groen, McGill University; and Suzanne Thorin, Indiana University

This "discussion paper" has grown since its inception into a dialogue with the larger research community about the state of library collections in the academy, and what can be done to enhance the availability of information resources in a time of both budgetary inadequacies and also the most significant output of world publishing since the late 1960s. Acknowledging that procedures that "made sense for managing collections only thirty years have been turned topsy-turvy," this thoughtful summary of the present state of events is also a call to define the path to a better information future and to prepare a transitional plan of action to meet the new paradigm. (Note: this paper is a discussion paper drafted for the ARL Research Collections Committee, and access is provided at the ARL website.)

4. "Collecting Material on Natural Disasters: A Case Study in Co-operative Collections Development"

by Linwood DeLong, University of Winnipeg Libraries

DeLong urges collection development librarians to bear in mind that "documenting perceptions and interpretations of major catastrophic events is just as important as assembling collections of scientific data and reports." The paper argues for a more proactive role for collection builders and not just passively accepting what the publishing world generates.

5. "Designing and Implementing a Consortial Approval Plan: The OhioLINK Experience"

by Carol Pitts Diedrichs, Ohio State University

With systematic expertise the author provides a valuable template for any state or consortial group considering the implementation of a cooperative approval program. Once again, with strong financial support from the state, Ohio has moved to the advanced edge of cooperative library endeavors and explored where few have gone before (and returned). This experiment moves us one step closer to the superlibrary concept of serving one world, where access is paramount over ownership, where the patron’s needs outweigh abstract bibliographic formulae, and where library economics is understood as getting the most from what you receive.

6. "Grey Literature Poses New Challenges for Research Libraries"

By Julia Gelfand, University of California-Irvine

"...Grey literature has become more mainstream and the demand for it by researchers and students has never been greater. It is one of the few bodies of literature that spans borders of disciplines, formats and intended purposes. However, the challenges for libraries to acquire and not always purchase, process, make available for access has never been so confusing. This paper explores the implications for cooperative collection development in the context of academic research libraries and suggests some trends for grey literature regarding shared bibliographic control, additional utility in cooperative catalogs, applications in distance education and course integrated bibliographic instruction. "

7. "Dancing with Elephants: International Cooperation in an Interdependent (But Unequal) World"

by Dan Hazen, Harvard University

In this methodical and incisive analysis of cooperative fact and fiction, the author asserts that "many of today’s most promising initiatives are still built more around bibliographic technology than library collections, and around newly-created joint ventures than the institutions already in place." However, even though archival collections are scattered among institutions without either the mandate or the means to ensure their conservation and use, the author suggests that "open recognition of the pitfalls and complexities should help us to construct realistic programs, and perhaps avoid yet another cycle of hope (hype) followed by disappointment."

8. "Back to the Future: Building the Florida Library Research Consortium"

by Martha Hruska, Associate Director for Technical Services,University of Florida, and Kathy Arsenault, Collection Development Librarian, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

The authors examine the pitfalls and challenges in building a statewide cooperative venture. After reviewing past experiences, they set out to utilize electronic technologies as a means to communicate and bind the group together. Along the way, they discover that face-to-face interactions, at least initially, is the social glue necessary for trusting agreements. Among the many things they learned, "you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink."

9. "Last Copy Depository: Cooperative Collection Management Centers in the Electronic Age"

by Vernon N. Kisling, Jr., Collection Management Coordinator, Marston Science Library, UF; Stephanie C. Haas, Environmental Librarian, Marston Science Library, University of Florida; and Pamela S. Cenzer, Serials Librarian, Marston Science Library, University of Florida

The authors decry the need for consortia to develop archiving strategies for print and electronic resources. Fearing that the commercialization of electronic resources could wrest from libraries their traditional control of the archival function, the authors delineate the problems inherent in vendor and/or publisher dominance, and suggest why Last Copy Depositories would help libraries "fulfill their role as repositories for our accumulated body of knowledge."

10. "From Farmington Plan to the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance: New Strategies in Developing International Collections"

by Phyllis Mirsky, Deputy University Librarian; R. Bruce Miller, Associate University Librarian, User Support Services, Karl Lo, Director, International Relations and Pacific Studies Library, University of California, San Diego

The authors demonstrate how cooperation in libraries is moving ever more quickly into the international arenas and how older impediments to cooperation are dissolving as we evolve into a global information village. "The Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance crosses political, geographical, and cultural boundaries with an interchange of library information resources, personnel, and technology. The Alliance, built upon a foundation of mutual trust and confidence, supports cooperation by capitalizing on the strengths and collections of its members without the limitations of traditional coordinated collection development." The viability of the classic concept of a library based on large, comprehensive collections is suffering the same economic fate as the recent dissolution of the Soviet Union and making way for institutional sharing, planning and a compatible technological infrastructure.

11. "Challenges and Constraints for History Selectors"

by James P. Niessen, Texas Tech University Libraries and Susanne F. Roberts, Yale University Library

The authors construct a thoroughly entertaining and informative dialogue by posing a series of insightful thoughts and questions regarding the role and duties of present-day selectors of materials for academic libraries. Their remarks cover the often stony ground that selectors must tread in their valiant attempts to wrest from insufficient funds (and administrators seldom schooled in the myriad problems facing bibliographers) a credible collection that serves at least the fundamental needs of their users. They warn that one size does not fit all when it comes to models of cooperative collection development for different disciplines and types of libraries. This paper foreshadows a brewing crisis, not unrelated to the Scholarly Communications debacle, about how much time and effort (read: "cost") we want to expend to ensure our selecting techniques and bibliographers are capable of first-rate winnowing of the chaff from the wheat.

12. "International Information Exchange: New Configurations for Library Collaboration in South Asian Studies"

by James Nye, Director, South Asia Language and Area Center and Bibliographer for Southern Asia, University of Chicago; and David Magier, Director of Area Studies and South/Southeast Asian Studies Librarian, Columbia University

"Over the past fifteen years U.S. research libraries have altered the ways they provide their patrons with research materials on South Asia, especially those in the regional languages of the subcontinent. Attempts to coordinate South Asia collection development at the national level have gradually given way to regional and local collaborative activities for preservation and enhanced access. Recently, the most successful of such collaborations have moved away from geographically-determined partnerships and have brought together select groupings of participating institutions based on commonalties of particular research and teaching interests. ... This paper addresses: first, the principles underpinning those projects and their international character; second, the characteristics of programs that have been most successful; and third, future directions for further international collaborations supporting scholarship on South Asia."

13. "Collaborative Purchasing: a Model for Financially Straitened Times"

by Steve O'Connor, Executive Director, CAVAL Ltd., and Stephen Pugh, Vice President, Collection Management & Development Group, YBP Library Services

"Utilizing Australian libraries for their data, the authors describe the present situation and show how a more collaborative approach to acquiring library materials could benefit libraries at all levels. Understanding how important library collections are to the intellectual life of this "island" nation, they believe the future should be designed rather than be a matter of destiny."

14. "The Printed Book: Still in Need of CCD"

by Anna Perrault, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Florida

Having done extensive research on monographic collections held in U.S. research libraries, the author concludes that there is a tragic lack of balance available to the scholar concerning information only available in monographic form and that some disciplines are shouldering this "robbing of Peter to pay Paul" more than others. On top of glaring differences that favor some disciplines over others, there is so little overall being now acquired by research libraries that we "need to realize that world publication output cannot be comprehensively covered by U.S. libraries alone." While praising the efforts of organizations like CRL, ARL and RLG in cooperatively stemming this ebbing information tide, the author concludes that "cooperative collection development needs to become an international agenda that matches the spirit of the international information commons" largely brought about by the Internet.

15. "Specialized Cooperative Efforts in Collection Development: An Analysis of Three Slavic Programs"

by Bradley L. Schaffner, Head of the Slavic Department and Coordinator for International Programs, University of Kansas Libraries

This paper presents several different pragmatic ways (including partnering with library administrators) in which institutions can cooperate effectively. Realizing that the phrase "library cooperation" has become somewhat of a mantra, Schaffner knows that it is not a panacea, but that, constructively pursued, can be a viable way for libraries to "provide their patrons with access to the broadest amount of published research and information currently available."

16. "Co-operative Collection Development: a UK National Library Perspective"

by Geoff Smith, Director, Co-operation and Partnership Programme, The British Library

"This examination of one of the great libraries, The British Library, demonstrates that the concept of the "self-sufficient" library is not only a myth but also a barrier to collaborative solutions for acquiring a larger percentage of the world’s burgeoning information output. Without an international collecting consensus, each library is condemned to acquire, unwittingly, much material that could be more economically and efficiently held by one library for the benefit of all, and thus releasing funds for that which isn’t being collected and conserved at all."

17. "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts"

by Milton T. Wolf and Marjorie Bloss of the Center for Research Libraries

Summarizing, in a nutshell, the current library malaise as "too much information, too little money," the authors still feel that "more can be gotten from less," if we are willing to re-conceive our position and jettison some of our more "antediluvian attitudes." While lambasting "Silicon Snake Oil" and the current commercialization of publishing, especially in the sciences, they fault librarians for failing to recognize that the traditional, self-sustaining library is dead as the Dodo Bird, and that it is time to get on with the business at hand: providing information to a world hungry for content. As they say, "Forget the personal trainer, the personal banker, it’s the personal information provider whom everyone wants!" Librarians add value to information; they magnify resources.

18. "An Experiment in Cooperative Collection Development: South Asia Vernaculars among the Research Triangle Universities"

by E. Christian Filstrup, Associate Director for Collection Management, Organization, and Preservation, North Carolina State University Libraries, Jordan M. Scepanski, Executive Director Triangle Research Network,; and Tony K. Stewart, Associate professor of Religion, North Carolina State University

In January 1999, the executive committee of The Triangle South Asia Consortium (TriSAC, an educational cooperative of the specialized South Asia faculties of Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) submitted a formal request to the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN, a library collaborative of the same four campuses) to attempt an experiment in coordinated collection development in European and vernacular materials dedicated to South Asia. This proposal continues a long tradition of area studies cooperation among members of TRLN.

Note: This paper is available from the publisher.
Filstrup, E. C., Jordan Scepanski, and T. Stewart.
"An Experiment in Cooperative Collection Development: South Asia Vernaculars Among the Research Triangle Universities."
Collection Management 24.1/2 (2000): 93-104