ERIC Number: ED351019
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Successfully Automating Library Consortia: Procedures To Facilitate Governance, Management and Cooperation. DataResearch Automation Guide Series, Number Three.
Data Research Associates, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
Sharing a local automated library system will generally reduce the costs of automation for each participating library and will facilitate the sharing of resources. To set up a consortium, libraries must first identify and agree on governance issues and methods for dealing with these issues. Issues range from ownership, management, and location of the computer system to funding and staff training. Governance issues should revolve around policy issues. Once the policy issues have been addressed, they can be implemented by a consortium manager. The job of the manager is to provide services following policies established by the consortium policy board. There are a number of ways that consortium members can pay for the purchase of a system and such operating costs as hardware and software maintenance, telecommunication charges, supplies, staff, and staff benefits. Whatever allocation method is chosen, it should reflect all of the costs of the consortium. (Allocation formulas are included.) Since any computer system has a useful life of 3-5 years, the member libraries should plan for system replacement. Because it impacts telecommunication costs, the physical location of the system needs to be carefully considered. Determining how the database will be built is another important issue. Regardless of the automated system being used, funding a trainer to provide on-going training for changes in software, the use of new software, and preparing new library staff members is key to the success of the program. (KRN)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Data Research Associates, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
Note: For other reports in this series, see IR 054 211-212.