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  1. 1. Consortia
  2. 2. 1What is the Library Consortia? Electronic publishing and telecommunication have enabled library consortia to evolve andexpand both in number and functions over the last decade. Library consortium development isrooted in the history of library cooperative efforts and is now also driven by the need to provideremote users with licensed access to electronic resources. The father of Indian Librarianship has advised consortia approach well in advice in hispopular book “Five Laws of Library Science”. “Library is a growing organism”, one of the FiveLaws of Library Science given by Dr. S R Ranganathan, leads whole world to the flap ofConsortium. Consortium is the joint venture of homogeneous institutions working for the sameobjectives. Being a part of consortium, and individual library can spread its wings all around theworld with more resources and more services. In today‟s scenario consortium is the cutthroatneed of the hour, especially for libraries. Library consortium is the virtual way to cope with thedifferent problems of libraries through proper coordination and cooperation.Understanding Consortia : Over the decade this concept has emerged as a growing area among the librarians, scholars,and publishers. The ‘consortia’ is the plural form of ‘consortium’ but is often used in place ofsingular form. It is derived from the Latin word for ‘fellowship’ that means ‘coming togetherofseparate groups for a purpose’. Synonymously the term is used as alliance, coalition,collaboration, cooperation, partnership, etc. Consortium is a complicated organization. It is „anassociation‟ in the sense that is not commonly understood, i.e., a consortium is not a libraryassociation, although some associations of libraries may engage in consortia activities. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, consortium means a “temporary cooperation of anumber of powers, companies, etc. for a common purpose. It is an association of similar type oforganization/institution who are engaged for production and servicing the common things forproviding services for a specific purpose of its users”.Aims of the Library Consortia : The primary objective of the Library Consortium is to encourage and facilitate interlibrarycommunication, education and resource sharing within its diverse multi-type librarymembership.
  3. 3. 2 Today Consortium purpose is shifted from mere sharing of resources to sharing of expertizebetween libraries and also explores the need for libraries to make the most effective use of theirfunds collectively.Need for Library Consortia : Academic (University & College) Libraries & Research Center Libraries with the impact ofInformation Technology are compelled to provide relevant information essential to its end userswithin a short time either from its in-house holdings or through consortia.Salient features of Library Consortia : The salient features of Library Consortia may be narrated as under : - They eliminate the different problems faced by the libraries to provide various services to the users. - They meet the thrust of information of the vast people due to rapid growth of population all over the world. - They cope up with the newly generated knowledge published in different forms, such as, printed and non-printed documents, electronic media on various disciplines, multi- disciplinary and new generated subject areas. - They collect all the documents published at the national and international level, because of the library financial crunch. - They may be used overcome the language barriers i.e. :- primary documents are being published by the developed countries like USA, UK, France, Japan, etc., and among them the non-English speaking countries produce majority of scientific literatures in their mother languages.Principles to Govern the Consortia :The important principles for governing them are listed below : - Flexibility to choose your own library management solutions vendor and select the member libraries with which you will share resources. - Flexibility to own, manage, and control your library‟s records and enforces its policies.
  4. 4. 3 - Flexibility to extend access to even more information with an information portal that shows your library‟s face. - Flexibility to share physical and digital resources.Functions of the Library Consortia : The main functions of consortia are Collection Sharing, Electronic Content Licensing,Electronic Content Loading/Presentation, Inter - Library Loan / Document Delivery,Preservation of documents. Also to gives training to involved library staff and making UnionLists / Shared Online Catalogues and working on new forms of scholarly and scientificcommunication.Benefits of Library Consortia : 1) Foster Resource Sharing – Besides sharing financial resources, members of consortia can share a variety of other resources. Sharing catalogues, sharing collections and in collection development and content creation. 2) Enhance Library Services to the Users – O‟connor described the benefit of consortia to be customer-focused. If becoming a consortium member is not going to benefit the library‟s users, then the library must question its reasons for becoming a member. 3) Improves Quality of Library Services – Libraries turned to consortia as a way to share information about and to foster best practices, and to reduce the unit cost of providing core services. 4) Increase Financial Benefit – One of the most common reasons that libraries join consortia is to gain some financial benefit. 5) Encourage for Discussion, Collective thinking and Leadership – Leadership is also an important part of library management. Consortium services manage more than the cost and a consortium can do this by providing leadership for its
  5. 5. 4 members that generates cooperative action for the advancement of educational environment.6) Facilitates the ‘Change Management’ – One of the most complex issues facing libraries today is change management. Change management is the process of minimizing those risks and optimizing the opportunities.7) Provides Training and Workshop – The consortium can play an invaluable role by providing training and organizing new programs of promotional activities – library improvement plan, classroom library plan, schools of library computerization, etc. to upgrade the existing staffs.8) Enables Better Access – Promote better, faster and more cost-effective ways of providing access to electronic information resources to the information seekers.9) Facilitates Better Management – Consortia can manage the electronic information resources in a better way and save the library from the hassle of print-resource management.10) Sustains the Pressure – Library consortia‟s successfully meet the pressure of diminishing budget, increased user‟s demand, and rising cost of library resources.11) Protects from Duplication – The duplication of materials (cost), time, and effort can be minimized and savings and access can be maximized.
  6. 6. 5Issues and Problems related to consortia : Publishers, vendors, aggregators are important factors of consortia without them it isimpossible to trying to expand the electronic information sources and services. There are someother issues and problem in consortia if those are take into consideration then only libraries cantackle in order to streamline cooperative and consortia efforts these are as follows: 1. Culture of working together to carry out cooperative projects; 2. Commitment to cooperation; 3. Mutual understanding; 4. Consensus building; 5. Patience; 6. Skills of planning, organization and administration; 7. Knowledge; 8. Human resources; 9. Monetary resources; and, 10. Common intelligence. It is of vital importance for libraries to overcome all the difficulties and join forcestogether to provide better electronic information services to their users. With the help of theseissues libraries also will get the idea about how to play important role as part of consortia.
  7. 7. 6 CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) the premier industrial R & Dorganization in India was constituted in 1942 by a resolution of the then Central LegislativeAssembly. It is an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860.CSIR Network of R & D Laboratories:Jammu, Palampur, Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Ghaziabad, Pilani, Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Pune,Bhavnagar, Goa, etc.CSIR organization structure:
  8. 8. 7When it was started?The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has 40 national laboratories carrying outR&D work in the areas of Engineering, Biological, Chemical, Physical, Environmental andInformation Sciences. Put together these laboratories subscribe to about 3100 unique titles byspending about Rs. 25 crores. More than US $ 1.3 million is spent on Elsevier titles alone. Basedon the recommendations of the laks force and the negotiation committee appointed by CSIR all1700 Elsevier e-journals have been made available to all 40 laboratories since July 2002. Thefunding being from single source. CSIR consortia did not face much difficulty to make thepayment. However there have been some problems in the matter concerned continuedsubscriptions to print titles as per the agreement by some laboratories. Few laboratories likeNAL, NCL, IMTECH, NIO, RRLT have been providing access to Elsevier titles since quitesome time. The negotiations with other publishers like Kluwer (550 titles) and Springer (450titles) is in the advanced stage. Attempts have been made to make available the J-Gate CustomContents for Consortia (JCCC) to all laboratories.CSIR Consortium sponsored by CSIR for providing access to Elsevier Science journals.The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is South Africas central andpremier scientific research and development organisation. It was established by an actof parliament in 1945 and is situated on its own campus in the city of Pretoria. It is the largestresearch and development (R&D) organisation in Africa and accounts for about 10% of theentire African R&D budget. It has a staff of approximately 3,000 technical and scientificresearchers, often working in multi-disciplinary teams.The CSIRs main areas of research are: Biosciences Built environment Defence, peace, safety and security Information and communications technology Laser technology Materials science and manufacturing Mobile intelligent autonomous systems Nanotechnology Natural resources and the environment Space technology
  9. 9.  Synthetic Biology 8Research centres at the CSIR : National Laser Centre Meraka Institute Centre for Mining InnovationServices Provided by CSIR : CSIR is a client-oriented, performanace-driven and accountable organization activelyinvolved in generation of knowledge and techonologies, development of product or process andalso its transition to the marketplace. With its extensive resource base, core competence that cutsacross the entire spectrum of science, innovative and skilled manpower, cost-effective solutions,and adherence to strict time frames, CSIR has always exceeded that demands made on it. Membership Services Resources Online Catalogue Open Access ResourceServices provided in CSIR Library : 1) Ciculation – This is the most basic service of the KRC. This would continue till the printliterature is available and subscribed. The functions of circulation include issue,and returns, of the documents, reminders, reservation of documents, overduecharges, membership, ILL, etc. The KRC should shift to the automatedcirculation system if not done already including bar code/RFID. 2) On-line Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) – Good number of CSIR KRCs have created their databases using one or theother of the integrated library automation systems. However, some of them haveported these on a stand alone system and not on the network. 3) ILL/ Document delivery–
  10. 10. The Interlibrary loan (ILL) has been a traditional service and a corner stone forcooperation amongst libraries. However, this is normally a „manual‟ service, wherein 9 some cases the complete volume/book may have to lent and in fewcases only the concerned article.4) Reference service – Traditionally this service is being offered using print reference tools which maycontinue. However, with the availability of access to the Internet resources toevery user, the user prefers to find solutions to his/her needs over Internet.5) Bibliographic / full-text database search – While one can access a number of full-text journals either for fee or free, the importance of bibliographies would still continue. This is so because, they aremorecomprehensive and cover various publishers, document types, etc.6) User orientation programs – User orientation programs are an essential component for proper utilization ofresources available within and outside the organization. This is usuallyconducted through user familiarization especially for the fresh / novice users andadvanced orientation for all the other users.7) Alerts – Traditionally, this service was offered in the form of Current Awareness and SDIServices. Now publishers/ service providers/ open access search enginesprovide a variety of alert services. Librarians can play a major role in identifyingand enabling end users to avail such services effectively.8) Patents search – Patent resources are one of the important resources for R&D and globalcompetitiveness. Full-texts of the patents of many countries are freely availableon their respective websites. Patents search needs specialized expertiseand therefore an intermediary is essential to search and provide the informationto end-users.9) News clipping – A very few labs run web based News Clipping service. News and reports appearing in the media, especially in news papers, relevant toS&T in general and the organization in particular constitute an important set ofinformation. Identifying, capturing, archiving and disseminating this informationconstitute a useful service.
  11. 11. 1010) Translation – Large number of publications are being published in languages other thanEnglish which necessitates availability of that information in English language forunderstanding and assimilating as an input for further advancement of S&T.11) Access to e-resources – The information resources are available in e-form and the publishers are offeringthese under various models. The libraries may avail access to resourcesrelevant to their area in e-form. These may be e-journals, databases, e-booksand other monographs, etc. Access may be on consortium or individuallaboratory basis.12) Access to Open Access (OA) Sources – Substantial number of journals are available in open access, and KRCs mayselect relevant journals from the lists to provide a link from their websites. One can also make use of Directory of Open Access Journals (DoAJ)and Open J-Gate.13) Digital libraries – Digitization of resources for archival and allied services has emerged as anaccepted practice. It covers digitization of documents available in the library andcapturing and archiving of the resources already available elsewhere.14) Institutional repositories – Institutional repositories (IRs) are one type of open access initiatives providingvisibility for the research outputs of the institutes. More than 30 IRs have alreadybeen setup in India out of which 3 are from CSIR laboratories. While some of theCSIR labs are in the process of developing IRs, some have already given thelinks to the full-texts of their publications as html links. All CSIR labs shouldeventually develop their IRs. One of the laboratories can lead the move byharvesting the metadata of all IRs of CSIR laboratories.15) Content creation – Information exists in a variety of forms. Technically, it is not so difficult to createa website, but contents creation is a challenging task. Librarians havetraditionally been trained in collecting, organizing and archiving information andtherefore they can ably undertake this activity, especially aspects such asmanpower and project information, news and events information, data literaturepublished by the CSIR laboratories, etc.
  12. 12. 11Impact of CSIR :The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leadingscientific and technology research, development and implementation organizations in Africa. Itundertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.Impact is central to the CSIR mandate -The CSIR‟s ultimate objective is to have a beneficial effect on the economy, society andenvironment that we live in. The organisation‟s mandate calls for the improvement of the qualityof life of the people of South Africa: impact is at the heart of the CSIR‟s undertakings.Furtherincreasing the impact of our RDI -Examples of the beneficial effect of CSIR research, development and innovation (RDI) on theeconomy, society and the environment that we live in, span more than six decades. But, theenormous development challenges facing the country have resulted in a more urgent call thanever for relevant science to support national priorities. In a bid to respond to this call and to evenfurther increase the impact of our RDI so that the lives of South Africans can improve soonerand in greater measures, the organisation set about sharpening its research and development(R&D) focus.The CSIR defines impact as the difference made in the economy, environment, society and thequality of life of people resulting from the implementation and exploitation of knowledge andsolutions resulting from the CSIR‟s research and development activities.In dealing with impact, the CSIR undertakes both its planning and monitoring based on the entireinnovation process, from input to outcome and eventual impact. The organisation understandsthat planning – during which the desired impact is formulated – is the first step. We pursueimpact through numerous pathways, including formal technology transfer processes involvingthe formal protection and licensing of intellectual property; skills transfer; knowledge transfer insupport of decision-making or science contributions to the knowledge base.
  13. 13. 12The importance of our stakeholders in making an impact-The CSIR places a premium on the involvement of its stakeholders – recognizing that impact canbe maximized through close stakeholder involvement in all facets of the innovation chain. Webelieve that stakeholders should be involved from the early planning stages. The CSIR‟sstakeholders typically include research partners, paying customers, government departments andthe ultimate beneficiaries. We acknowledge all our stakeholders, who continue to believe in thepotential that science and technology can unlock, and pay tribute to those who have implementedsolutions that have made a difference. We would like to continue to work with you in sharing thestories of our progress.Demonstrating our impactThe CSIR has started a web-based impact series in a conscious effort to convey the stories ofproblems solved; solutions implemented; and recommendations taken up. We will also sharesome case studies which have resulted in longer-term outcomes with significant societal,economic or environmental impact.Conclusion :Library consortiumdevelopment is rooted in the history of library cooperative efforts and is nowalso driven by the need to provide remote users with licensed access to electronic resources. Arapid growth of consortia has taken place with the changing environment of libraries. Over 150library consortia and represents over 5000 member libraries worldwide.References :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_Scientific_and_Industrial_Research ,Singh, A.P. (2005). Library Without Walls. EssEss Pub., New Delhi.p357.http://rdpp.csir.res.in/csir_acsir/Home.aspxhttp://rdpp.csir.res.in/csir_acsir/Home.aspx?MenuId=8http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=services+of+csir
  14. 14. Dhiman, A. K. (2012). Manual of Digital Libraries. Ess Ess Pub., New Delhi. P798.