Brief information about library consortia

The word ‘Consortia’ was originated from the Latin word in early 19t1 century in the sense of partnership. Oxford advanced learners dictionary describes Consortia as “a group of people, countries, companies, etc. who are working together on a particular project”. Library consortium means an association or group of libraries that agree to share their resources to satisfy the needs of the readers.Library Consortia

The salient features of library consortium are:

• To cope up the newly generate knowledge published in different forms such as printed document and electronic media in various disciplines, multidisciplinary and new innovated subject area.

• To eliminate the different problems faced by the libraries to provide better service to the users.

• To meet the needs of the people due to the rapid growth of population all over the world.

• To collect all the documents published at the national and international level because of the limited library budget.

• To overcome the language barriers.

Need and Purpose of Library Consortia:

The main purpose of establishing a library consortium is to share resources amongst the members. Internet collection, Suitable software, sufficient manpower, reprographic facilities etc. can supplement the environment feasible for sharing resources and other components through a consortium. Other purposes like purchasing e-resource, sharing the resource, shared archives and storage facilities, share core collection, shared digital library project development, shared e-resources, training of users and library staff, support of technology to the member institution, joint achieves and storage facilities.

Roles of Library Consortia:

Roles of library consortia are balanced collection development, Create a database of resources among participating libraries, document delivery service, establish a standardize resource sharing system, strengthen communication system, prepare the union catalogue among participating libraries, library co-operation, and consideration with a contractual obligation for each participant.

Types of Library Consortia:

There are several types of library consortia in India. Such as

• Open Consortia: This type of consortia is open-ended to provide flexibility for the libraries to join, leave at their need, convenience, and will. It is generally driven by the small homogenous group who have a need to cross-share the resources in a specific subject area. E-ShodhSindhu consortium runs by INFLIBNET Centre, Ahmadabad by the directive of MHRD, Govt of India is an example.

Closed Group Consortia: The closed group consortium stays exclusive within a defined group. NKRC, IlEM consortium is the example of closed group consortium.

• Centrally Funded Consortia: In this model, the very existence of the consortium will solely depend on the central funding agency. E-ShodhSindhu, NKRC, etc. are the example of this model.

• Shared-Budget Consortia: This is the only alternative where central funding is not coming. IIM and FORSA are examples of this model but the fund management does not have a central authority.

• National Consortia: This is a conceptual model or framework as far as India is concerned, which is not being seriously attempted by any of the ongoing consortia in the country.

Benefits of Library Consortia:

The consortia help the collection development of University libraries. It avoids duplication of core collection especially for core journals, easy access to resources sharing on the Internet by developing common resources database, effective document delivery system, reduce cost of information, time-saving, improved resource sharing, and more professional services to users.

Original Reference Article:

  • Kumar, P. A. (2017). Impact of information technology on the collection development in university libraries of Assam: a study. Retrieved from:
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