Definition and Meaning of Library Networks
Objectives of Libraries Network
- For resource sharing among the member Libraries and Information centers;
- To develop a network among the libraries having same aim/goals ;
- For collection, storage, dissemination of information, Preservation, Technical Service and Bibliographic Control;
- To provide the information services to users and
- To develop a plan for collection development for reducing duplication in documents and in research information.
Purpose of Library Networks
- To provide network based services to Users, document delivery services, bibliographic information Services, and human resource development.
- To share information resources for facilitating the research and learning of the sharing group members by collective strengths of the institutions.
- It supports resource sharing and provides services to users through access to electronic sources, and access to physical collections, enhanced inters library loan and document delivery.
- The library network is to promote resource sharing among member libraries by coordinate efforts for suitable collection development, reduce expenditure and duplication.
Growth and Development of Library and Information Networks in India
- The Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET);
- The Delhi Library Network (DELNET);
- The Biotechnology Information System (BTIS);
- The Scientific and Industrial Research Network (SIRNET);
- The Technology Information System (TIFACLINE);
- The Calcutta Library Network (CALIBNET);
- The Madras Library Network (MALIBNET);
- The Bombay Library Network (BONET);
- The Mysore Library Network (MYLIBNET); and
- The Pune Library Network (PUNENET).
Definition and Meaning of Consortia
Concept of Library Consortia in Academic Libraries
Types of Consortia Models:
- Open Consortia: In this type, libraries are free to join and leave as and when they please. Member libraries are usually homogeneous in nature and require cross-sharing of the resources in a specific subject area. The examples are FORSA; SNDT’s LISA and INDEST Consortium of MHRD, Government of India.
- Closed Group Consortia: As the name indicates, this type of consortium is formed by coalition, affiliation, and collaboration among exclusive member libraries. The examples are CSIR, DAE, and IIMs consortia.
- Centrally Funded Consortia: In this type, a parent body or the coordinating agency will have the financial responsibility for running the consortium. The examples are CSIR, INDEST, UGC-INFONET, and ICMR Consortia, etc.
- Shared Budget Models: In this type, management of funds and other aspects are handled individually by the member libraries. For example, FORSA; IIMs and HELINET.
- National Level Consortia: - This is a model perceived at national level which includes member libraries from one country and for example in India national level consortia is being developed INDEST; UGC – Infonet and ICARNET.
- Publishers’ Initiative: Certain publishers are also encouraging consortium formation by giving a deep discount in prices to the member libraries. For example, Emeralds’ Publishing Group.
- Institutional Headquarters Funded Consortia: TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research); and its branch libraries.
- International Consortium: The end of this model is international level.
Growth and Development of Library Consortia
- Consortium for Material Science and Aerospace Collection (COMSAC) is the first known formal consortia initiative led by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) in 1998 for a few databases.
- Forum for Resource Sharing in Astronomy and Astrophysics (FORSA) in 1981.
- The first limited purpose and successful, consortia-like model is Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 2000, which used the consortia model offered by Springer for multi-site licensing and cross sharing of content among all the libraries falling under TIFR’s affiliation.
- The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the first major and formal consortium at national level to sign license to access Elsevier journals in 2001.
- Department of Automatic Energy (DAE) formed a consortium and signed up with Science Direct in 2002.
- Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology (INDEST) in the year 2003
- Health Sciences Library & Information Network (HELINET ) in year 2003
- UGC-INFONET Digital Library Consortium in 2004
- New developments : ICAR, NML, DST, MCIT, DRDO etc
Features of Library Consortia
- Each organizations and institutions can share their resources with each consortium member library and enable each member library's users can use the collections to for their scholarly research.
- Cooperative research and development enhances service and realizes cost effectiveness.
- Staff development and interaction with quality of service.
- It is the cooperative task to reduce the cost of purchase consortia. As a result, end users can take benefits of more resources than would be available through one library.
- To advance library services are provided with an emphasis on access to new E- resources including databases and services offered through the internet and www.
Need for Library Consortia
- Overloaded Budgets: The price for scientific information is continuous increase and there is always lack of funding for academic libraries for scientific journals. Libraries are spending larger portion of their budgetary allocations for either procuring or assessing electronic resources. A consortium provided the facilities to the member libraries to get the benefit of wider access to electronic resources at affordable cost and at the best terms of licenses.
- Information Explosion: The rapid growth in the production of information/knowledge has made it impossible for the individual library to acquire all the relevant information. The libraries have become more and more dependent on mutual lending so as to meet the requirements of their users. A consortium can resolve the problems of managing, organizing and archiving the electronic resources.
- Self-Sufficiency: The speedy technological developments have brought libraries under pressure to have new hardware, software and education and training of library staff. With the explosion of information in many forms, it is difficult for every library to be fully sufficient to provide the information needs of its user. Financial constrains, space, human resources inadequacies are also the need for the libraries to opt for the consortia approach.
- Publisher's Interest: This approach has helped to get attractive discounted rates and most of publishes responded positively to the call of consortia and are enthusiastic to give the best possible offers. Another reason for the eagerness of publishers to enter the Indian market, which holds very high future potentials.
- User Demands: The technology has changed expectations of researchers, their patience, and their willingness to accept services that are available on demand. The Web-based electronic resources are an apt answer to the expectations of users. Library users want to have access to that material as quickly as possible, and many of them want information at their computer screens.
- Speedy Access: The technology provides greater speed, economy in the delivery of information. The application of new technologies i.e. WWW has helped the users in delivering fast information of their need.
- Quality of Research: The research productivity of all institutions is expected to improve with increased access to international e-databases and full-text resources, so libraries are willing to add electronic resources to their collection and opting for consortia approach.
- Changing role of Librarians: This concept has tremendous influence on the consortia initiatives. The changing role of librarian as a conservator to a navigator/disseminator of information has enhanced the value of library consortia.
- For the up-date developments: Consortia help to have a watchful eye on coming latest technological changes in publishing industry and associated legislations which can affect the libraries directly or indirectly.
Objectives of Library Consortia
- To develop a co-operative and consortia solutions for the challenges faced by member libraries, in the acquisition, processing, storage, preservation, exploitation, dissemination and delivery of information and library materials, for the benefit of their institutions;
- To assist libraries in the consortium to pursue and achieve their own institutional objectives;
- To provide strong leadership and opportunities for innovation for the research communities;
- To provide the community with physical and virtual access to the shared resources of all libraries;
- To provide a framework of mutual support, enabling its members to develop individual and collective strengths;
- To identify priorities for funding within libraries and to be proactive in influencing national agendas/priorities for funding for research support;
- To Influence national agencies engaged in consortia purchase activities, in order to ensure the needs of research and scholarship remain a priority;
- To publicise and disseminate information about libraries and its activities as widely as possible in appropriate contexts;
- To make appropriate responses to consultation processes;
- To provide access to the bibliographic records of all libraries members;
- To implement a policy for better access to and provision of catalogue records for serials;
- To enrich the provision of machine-readable bibliographic records for print and non – print resources housed in member libraries;
- To provide access to consortium holdings recorded on consortium union catalogue to know the location of information; and
- To provide metadata for the electronic resources accessible from consortium libraries.
Advantages of Consortia
- Consortia-based subscription to electronic resources provides access to wider number of electronic resources at substantially lower cost; It provides each institution with the ability to share resources without sacrificing the individuality of each member library;
- The collections of the Consortium libraries enable each member library to support scholarly research for its users;
- Optimum utilization of funds.
- Facilities to build up digital libraries
- Helpful to provide better library services like CAS and SDI
- Cost Sharing for Technical and training support Cooperative research and development in application of information technology enhances service and realises cost efficiencies;
- Electronic Journals demand neither library space nor shelling costs nor can they be stolen from the library
- The consortium has been offered better terms of licenses for use, archival access and preservation of subscribed electronic resources.
- With less economy expansion, staff development and interaction enhance the quality of service; Reduction in cost is achieved by forming a consortium.
- The end users can reap the benefits of more resources than would be available through one library as the consortium acts as an means for all member libraries and negotiates a purchase price that is lower than that available to individual institution;
- Provides better library services with an access to new electronic resources including online databases and services offered through the Internet and World Wide Web.
Disadvantages of Consortia
- Nonexistence of a printed copy of Journals
- Require training of staffs in handling electronic documents etc.
- Consortia require investments in licensees and information and communication technology.
- Copyright problems
- Unreliable telecommunication links, Internet Access and insufficient bandwidth
- Lack of archiving and back files availability
- Users interest for accepting or not accepting of electronic format, e-journals
CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) (www.csir.res.in)
FORSA (Forum for Resource Sharing in Astronomy and Astrophysics)
HELINET (Health Sciences Library &amp; Information Network)
ICICI Knowledge Park (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India)
IIM’s Library Consortia (The Indian Institute of Management)
INDEST (Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology) (http://www.incest.iitd.ac.in)
UGC-DAE library (Department of Atomic Energy) Consortium for Scientific Research (www.csr.res.in)
UGC-Infonet (University Grants Commission)
References and Further Reading
- Ahmedabad Library Network (ADINET) http://www.alibnet.org/
- Alexander, A. (1998) Why do we do it? The Journal of Electronic Publishing, Vol. 3 (3). http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/03-03/index.html
- Allen, Barbara M. & Hirshon, A. (1998): Hanging together to avoid hanging separately – opportunities for academic libraries and consortia. Information Technology and Libraries, March 1998.
- American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1993.
- Arnold Hirshonin (1999). Libraries, consortia, and change management. Journal of Academic Librarianship, V.25 (2), pp.124-126. [Visions: edited by Bosseau, D.L. & Martin, S.K. & Hirshon, A.]
- Arora, J. (2005). Managing electronic resources through consortia: an overview. In: Library and Information Networking – NACLIN – 2005: Proceedings of the National Convention on Library Information networking, held at PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, August 22 – 25, 2005. Edited by Kaul, H.K. and Sen, Gayathri. New Delhi: DELNET, pp.145-170.
- Biswas, B. and Dasgupta, S. (2001). Opportunities for Libraries in Managing and Resource Sharing through Consortia: A New Challenge for Indian Librarians.
- Bombay Library Network (BONET) http://www.alibnet.org/
- Calcutta Library Network (CALIBNET) http://www.calibnet.org/
- Cholin, V. S. and Karisiddappa, C.R. (2002). Library Consortia for Academic Libraries in the e-publishing Era. In: CALIBER 2002. H Anil Kumar (ed). Internet Engineering for Libraries and Information Centres. Ahmedabad: INFLIBNET. pp. 362-374.
- DeLanoy, Diana D. and Cuadra, Carlos A. (1972). Directory of Academic Library Consortia, Santa Monica, CA: System Development Corporation.
- Developing Library Network (DELNET) http://delnet.nic.in/
- Feather, Joha and Sturges, Paul (eds.). (1997). International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science, London: Routledge.
- Goudar, I.R.N. (2002). E Journals: Breaking the pricing barrier. Paper presented at the Round Table on Consortia Models in India, held at Bangalore.
- India: Planning Commission: Working Group on Libraries and Informatics for the Ninth Five Year Plan, 1997-2000. (1996) Report.
- INFLIBNET Review Committee Report (1996). New Delhi: UGC.
- Information & Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET) http://www.inflibnet.ac.in/
- Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 21 (1), March 2002, pp.13-14 & p. 30
- Kent, A and Galvin, T. (eds). (1979). Structure and Governance of Library Networks: Proceedings of the 1978 Conference in Pittsburg. New York: Marcel Dekker.
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- Library and Information Networks. (1996) India: Planning Commission: Working Group on Libraries and Informatics for the Ninth Five Year Plan, 1997-2000. (1996) Report.
- Madras Library Network (MALIBNET) http://www.angelfire.com/in/malibnet
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- Patil, Y. M. et al. (2006). Indian consortia models: FORSA libraries experiences. Paper presented at the LISA V Conference: Common challenges, unknown solutions. Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., June 18-21, 2006.
- Patil, Y.M. (2004b). Resource sharing through consortia: an experience with FORSA Libraries. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on consortium approach to resource sharing: issue and policies, ed. by Madalli, Devika P. Bangalore: DRTC, p.14.
- Patil, Y.M. and Savanur, K.P. (2006). Consortium Approach to E-Resource Sharing - A Case Study. http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00009070/01/AFITA(Preprint).pdf\
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- Pune Library Network (PUNENET) http://www.punenet.com/ http://www. dbtindia.gov.in
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- Scepanski, Jordan M.: Collaborating on new missions – library consortia and the future of academic libraries.
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- Varaprasad, S.J.D. and Madhusudhan, S. (2010). E-journal Consortium: Is it a Success Story Always? DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, Vol. 30 (2), March 2010, pp. 92-96
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