Here is a set of documents generated relating to consortium issues. this is an agenda item for the Denver meeting. i will follow with a more specific proposal for moving forward. Please comment.
Initial charge to the LCAOM subcommittee on consortium issues.
Pursuant to the decision made at the Chicago meeting of the Libraries of AOM (aka LCAOM), I am proposing to move forward with work on developing plans for a possible elaborated cooperative organization of OM libraries.
1. Formulation of a mission statement/"charge" of the subcommittee.
2. Review of past documents relative to consortium, most of which are in the files section of the LCAOM Yahoo group.
3. Examination of existing library consortia; I will provide links to some of these later.
4. Literary search on formatuion of consortia, etc. I have at least two articles I can share.
5. Analysis of consortium issues in order to parse them into smaller interest units which can be addressed.
6. Preparation of a report on efforts, to be presented in Denver in November.
I think ultimately we should be working through the Druple-based CCAOM.NET portal, using WIKI document processes.
Initial statement, based on suggestions from Jim Emdy and elaborated by David Sales.
The Consortium Subcommittee of the CCAOM Libraries of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Committee, seeks to develop and eventually implement a Consortium of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Libraries to deliver reference and communication resources to AOM students, staff and faculty. The means to this end include possible purchase of relevant databases at reduced corporate rates, coordinated Interlibrary loan (ILL) services, and communication services to assist CCAOM member libraries. The consortium could establish its own webpage, as well as use existing Internet based facilities such as the CCAOM Yahoo user group and the CCAOM Drupal platform CCAOM.net. as a complex mix of information systems environments with few issues related to performance. The consortium design should provide a means of management and governance, and necessary sourcing of funds to realize the goals of the consortium. This proposal is subject to review by the full Committee, the CCAOM Executive Committee and Finance Committee, and full Council.
The committee may wish to make specific recommendations about the following:
What legal status should the Consortium have, if any? If the Consortium establishes itself as a legal entity, there would be attendant contractual and other liability for itself, and possibly for the member schools whose libraries participate in the Consortium and for CCAOM as the membership organization for the participating schools.
Should the Consortium not have any legal status of its own, but instead be a less formal association with dependence on CCAOM and/or member colleges for funding, especially for purposes of purchasing relevant databases at reduced corporate rates? Note: presumably, "corporate rates" would only be available for corporate entities. If the Consortium is not a corporate entity, then presumably only member colleges and/or CCAOM would be eligible to purchase the databases at corporate rates. As a practical matter, given the number of member colleges that might participate in the Consortium and the need for a database vendor to deal with only one entity, is it inevitable that the Consortium will need to rely on CCAOM to make the database purchases?
Once purchased, where would the database be housed, who would administer it on the backend, and what would the expectations be regarding the administrator's time commitment and expertise?
Does the Consortium intend to request funding from the Council and/or participating colleges to purchase the relevant databases? If so, a cost estimate would be needed.
Are there any library consortia outside the AOM profession whose administrative structure and practices might inform the development of an AOM library consortium?
It would seem desirable to develop a charter under which the Consortium would function. Perhaps there are precedents from other professions in the area of library consortia?
Comments of Naomi Broering regarding consortium issues.
Re: Consortium management and legal status. I think we should start with something simple. We are novices at this.
1.Realistically, we do not have much clout to negotiate huge discounts for databases, e books, etc from vendors, AND there is the potential issue that not every school would want to pay for databases or digital resources that are not of primary importance to them. Let's keep it simple.
2. A consortia groups should be established so individual schools can decide if they want to subscribe to a discounted database, not have the council pay for everyone. this could lead to problems and dissention.
3.Also, re management, is this something CCAOM can manage for the libraries? Our libraries are so small, I do not see any particular librarian having the time or staff to manage accounts.
4. There are informal Consortia arrangements, such as Memorandum of Understanding that do not require legal agreements.
5. We also need to agree that for-profit and not-for-profit could be members. Many of our schools are for-profit institutions.
We used to have a DOCHSIN Libraries consortium in DC that was quite informal with memorandum of understanding which worked well for interlibrary loans. We can look in google or wikipedia for samples.
And, the SCELC consortium is an example of a formal group that requires membership. They charge fees and surcharges based on what each library subscribes to and $s associated. They have a staff set-up which requires salaries and quarters. This is a more elaborate example.
One other possible way for discounts is, if the librarians agree on a database they all want, and then go to the vendor and negotiate a discount price directly with the vendor. In this scenario the vendor invoices the libraries directly and no staffing or management is required on our part.
Re. Interlibrary loans our libraries should join the NNLM in their region and use DOCLINE for Ills. Its cheap and no extra management work.
Shared catalogs is tough unless everyone switiches to one system. We like ours CybertoolsforLibraries.
However, we can certainly look each others catalogs if we share the URLs.
Alliances with larger colleges would be good too, but I think its very expensive,
1. How you think your library can benefit from a consortial arrangement.
Comments of Andrea Anzalone, MLIS Library Manager Yo San University
I believe we would most benefit from having access to a greater number of online resources (journal databases and e-books, for example), if cost-effective licensing agreements could be negotiated with vendors. At present, our library is an affiliate member of SCELC (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium, www.scelc.org ), which offers discounted subscriptions to a wide assortment of databases. Perhaps it may be possible for LCCAOM libraries to negotiate with SCELC as a group (?) I believe they have broadened their definition of "California libraries" to include libraries outside the state, and so perhaps it is worth investigating this possibility
2. What do you think your library can offer a larger group and institutions.
We could consider offering ILL of journal articles and books on a reciprocal basis. Since our library is small, however, we would need to develop guidelines in this regard in order to enable ready access to materials for our students.
3. How you see LCCAOM libraries participating together toward effective resource and services sharing.
As mentioned in question #1, negotiating discounts to databases would be the greatest benefit.
4. Please also include your thoughts on what challenges you see in becoming part of a consortium.
As you noted in your message, structuring the consortial systems and organization would have to be worked out. My main concern as a part-time library manager is the time factor. In other words, though I would love to offer ILL to member libraries, for example, my time is very limited for additional tasks. But levels of involvement and membership are topics to explore furtherand all in all I think being part of a consortium will have tremendous benefits.
From David Sales:
I do not think the CCAOM national office can function administratively for any consortium that is established as there are only two people in this office, one of whom (Paula Diamond) definitely does not have administrative time for this as she administers the entire CNT program, which is an ongoing daily responsibility, and further serves as the CCAOM Finance Administrator for day-to-day finances