Broaden Collaborations

3. Broaden and internationalize library collaborations


Research libraries in the United States have a long history of cooperation that includes both formal consortia and ad hoc partnerships. Area studies resources, which can be difficult to acquire and which may then receive little use, have particularly lent themselves to cooperative action. Some region-specific efforts are now expanding to include both international partners and the scholars, publishers, vendors, and others who are engaged in creating and disseminating international information. Museums, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and other institutions concerned with knowledge and information are likewise relevant. We need to consciously construct a more comprehensive, multilateral, and distributed international base for collaborative action.


Proposed Areas for Action

  • Pursue international activities within existing and new “global” programs by recruiting participants (and leaders) from outside the United States.
  • Engage more fully with libraries and kindred organizations beyond the United States and Canada through umbrella organizations such as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
  • Foster research library collaborations with non-U. S. institutions and particularly through universities’ international offices and campuses.
  • Develop a better understanding of the potential roles and contributions of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), national libraries, foreign universities, and other organizations as partners in international digital initiatives.
  • Explore international partnerships in the realms of user support, technical processing, and preservation, as well as collections and content.
  • Promote international analyses of and responses to intellectual property issues, and global action to provide the most generous possible access to currently-produced information.
  • Explore collaborations that have arisen in other countries and regions (for example Germany’s distributed responsibilities for area acquisitions, European Union projects, etc.) as a basis for their further extension and also as possible models for new regional or international initiatives.
  • Develop an inventory of successful collaborations and identify areas in which new partnerships would be beneficial.

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