Resource sharing is an important concept of library collection development. It has played an important role in the formation of consortia in library management. It has replaced the earlier traditional concept of space, limited budget, and highest cost and as an economic means. An independent library cannot satisfy the need of users. So this problem has been overcome by the use of resource sharing. Resource sharing of the library involves co-operative acquisition which includes access to the catalogue, in a process and on order information of the participating libraries, an interlibrary loan which comprises determining the location of the required resources by verifying its availability and physical transfer and common storage for the material used. The services and procedure of resource sharing include bibliographic access to holding catalogues for cataloguing and classification. Sufficient speed is required to the users for resource sharing technique so that the client receives the desired resource before the need is evaporated. Cost for the local collection should be less or at least equal to the cost of purchasing the same materials.
The resource sharing will be successful when several key requirements will be made successfully. Appropriate communication technology and delivery system are the key requirements. There should also be a mutual understanding (in respect of acquisition policy, sharing of resources, loan period, bibliographic control, renewal etc) among the participating libraries. It should be governed by a strong management or other government mechanisms. Successful resource sharing involved the use of modern technology and a less amount of behavior modification.
Internet plays an important role in resource sharing which requires less effort and required less resource for proprietary networking solution. All the libraries which are digitized should have a high-speed internet connection so that good user interface can be provided to the web browser which will enable integration and will be able to access the shared resources.
The World Wide Web and the internet have given a strong policy for consortia based sharing of resources, electronic journals, and bibliographic databases.
Factors of Resource Sharing:
The factors of resource sharing includes-
• The growth of knowledge in various subjects
• The high-speed growth of literature and publication: The traditional library in the second half of the 20th century it was very difficult to manage the publication which includes about three million documents published every year. The documents include conference papers, articles, books, technical reports etc. Which are to be double after every eight to ten years.
• Increasing trend of newly developed subjects and specialization.
• Fund limitation: The cost of books and other reading materials are increasing every year but the budget of the University library is limited. So resource sharing is adopted by the University libraries.
• Increasing the cost of publications: The cost of publication is increasing rapidly. The average price of foreign books has raised to $143.09 in 1989 from $41.34 in 1976.
• Increasing the number of members which includes students, faculty members and research scholars of the Universities.
• The wider scope of academic learning and other information resources.
• The information needs of the users are recurring or repetitive in nature.
Resource sharing is necessary for acquiring information about a particular subject at low cost among the University libraries. It should play a pivotal role so that resource sharing becomes the focal point of co-operation.
Areas of Resource Sharing:
Resources that could be shared are:
i. Materials-Books, periodicals, audio-visual aids, floppies, CDs etc.
ii. Experience and skill library manpower.
iii. Infrastructure – It includes hardware and software for computer and networking.
Forms of Resource Sharing:
There are various forms of resource sharing for the benefit of libraries in general as well for the users. The forms are:
i. Cooperative acquisition
ii. Cooperative processing
iii. Cooperative storage &
iv. Interlibrary loan.
University libraries procure books, periodicals and other materials from the publishers and booksellers situated in and outside the country. In the acquisition work selection, placing orders, giving reminders, passing the bills and a few other activities are included. All these activities can be reduced greatly through the cooperative acquisition of documents. Moreover, it may bring down cost, earn a large discount and save time and clerical labors of the staff members.
The procurement of the foreign periodicals poses so many problems such as exchange of foreign currency, postal problem etc. Such types of problems can be solved by cooperative acquisition.
Interlibrary loan is the most common and an old form of resource sharing. In this, a library gets a book or a document from another library on loan for a certain period of time. The transaction takes place only between the libraries.
Original Reference Article:
- Kumar, P. A. (2017). Impact of information technology on the collection development in university libraries of Assam: a study.