Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ball State Libraries Reap Benefits from Consortia Participation

The University Libraries are committed to developing exceptional collections of rich scholarly resources and to offering excellent services that support the teaching, learning, and research of our students and faculty at Ball State University. In pursuit of this goal, the University Libraries have established advantageous relationships with a number of library consortia. These alliances help to strengthen and support the Libraries by positioning us to better facilitate and accomplish our strategic plan.

Library consortia typically are cooperative partnerships that facilitate cost-effective services, create and support educational and professional development, facilitate collaboration between and among members, and provide significant subscription savings through pooled purchases, which increase buying power, maximize mutual benefits, and minimize institutional risks.

The University Libraries participate in several consortia:
1. Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) consists of 71 undergraduate, medical, law, theological, and research libraries in the State of Indiana. Its mission is “… to enhance and enrich access to the full range of information resources and services required to improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, and engagement in Indiana’s colleges, universities, and seminaries through collaboration, research sharing, and advocacy.”
Members offer free reciprocal borrowing and in-library use for students and faculty among themselves.
Members can receive significant discounts on database subscriptions through ALI’s e-resource licensing program for consortia through SOLINET.

2. Amigos Library Services (AMIGOS) is a network of over 800 libraries and cultural heritage centers that began in the southwestern United States and partners with academic libraries nationwide.
The Ball State University Libraries hold a general membership, providing substantial discounts for several current subscription databases, to take advantage of the Member Discount Program.
AMIGOS provides shared training resources, shared library materials among participating members, and shared purchasing power.

3. Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) is an Indiana statewide network.

In October 2008, INCOLSA will form a partnership with the Michigan Library Consortium (MLC) to offer discounts from over 55 vendors and publishers.
INCOLSA provides many professional development workshop opportunities for Indiana Libraries.

4. OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a not-for-profit membership cooperative that includes more than 69,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories worldwide.
Connexion is a Web browser-based cataloging utility that allows the University Libraries’ catalogers to download and edit records from OCLC’s vast database, minimizing the need for extensive, labor-intensive, and costly original cataloging.
WorldCat – Access to the union catalog, which contains all records cataloged by OCLC member libraries. This allows the University Libraries to share their records with the entire OCLC network and facilitates resource sharing and interlibrary loan services through reciprocal borrowing.

5. Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) is a not-for-profit library cooperative of more than 3,400 members. All Indiana libraries are group affiliate members, thanks to the vision and leadership of the Indiana State Library. The membership provides a “…wide range of exemplary benefits, including accessing cost-effective programs and services at deep discounts, increasing our buying power for digital and other informational resources, being able to attend SOLINET’s nationally recognized classes for training and professional development, as well as the potential to participate in the SOLINE interlibrary loan network.”

The Ball State University Libraries have realized tangible, favorable outcomes through these relationships, which continue to expand our ability to offer our students and faculty a wide array of resources and services that facilitate knowledge discovery, locally and globally.

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