Date of this Version
Library Philosophy and Practice 2012
A Consortium could be described as a group of organizations who come together to fulfill a combined objective that usefully requires co-operation and sharing of resources. And need to have a clear mutual goal in order to ensure their success. A library Consortium formation can be local, regional, state, national and inter institutional level.
According to Webster's 3rd new International Dictionary, Library consortia is "an agreement, combination, or group formed to undertake and enterprise beyond the resources of anyone member"(Merriam Webster online dictionary. 2008)
Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science (ODLIS) defines Library Consortia as "an association of independent Libraries and/or Library systems established by formal agreement, usually for the purpose of sharing". Membership may be restricted to a specific geographical region, type of Library (Public, Academic, and Special) or subject specialization".(ODLIS-Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science)
Consortium is the term, which has many meaning. In the beginning libraries work in the field of collection development and resource sharing in the widest sense of word. Later on cooperative cataloguing system were as consortia. As purchasing association in the network environment the term "Consortia" is now widely used.
Review of Literature
The study of related research implies locating, reading and evaluating research reports. The survey of the literature is a crucial aspect for planning of the body of research. The investigators reviewed only those studies which are related to the present study.
It was revealed that majority of the users are aware about the availability of online journals. And majority of respondent indicated that they make use of online journals for their research work. It was also found that users faced problems while using online journals. A need was also felt by some research scholars regarding inclusion of some more e- journals in UGC-Infonet Consortium (Zaidi and Bharati, 2008). The users faced problem while accessing e-consortium and lack of awareness of e-resources available. It was suggested that a training programme should be conducted regularly to improve the usage of e-journal consortium. (Gupta and Rawtani, 2008) There is a need of conducting regular orientation/training programme for the UGC Infonet programme; more number of e-journals to be included in the UGC Infonet consortium (Veenapani, Singh and Devi, 2008).A high proportion of teaching and research staff are aware of the collection of electronic journals and there is an increasing preference for the electronic information sources to the detriment of the printed format. The collection of electronic journals is highly valued and most users expect to increase their use during the next few years. The results also confirm the importance of discipline and age as explanatory factors of the use of electronic journals (Borrego et. al., 2007). In a study under the title "Preserving perpetual access to electronic journals: A Korean consortial approach" This study describes the key findings of the Korean Electronic Site License Initiative (KESLI), established by the National Digital Science Library to develop a digital archive of electronic journals in Korea. Research and relevant activities included developing system architecture, suggesting journal selection criteria and publisher selection criteria, choosing a set of metadata elements, and addressing stakeholders' concerns. Recommendations for further tasks have been made in order to have the system fully operating by December 2007 (Choia and Parkb, 2007). A study observes that electronic journals continue to usually be the format of choice for institutional serials subscriptions. However, in developing countries this is not always the case, due to access and connectivity issues. He found that insufficient administrative infrastructure and resources were the major contributing factors and reasons why harnessing of e-journals is not more ubiquitous and common in Nigeria. The paper offers some useful suggestions on how to tackle these problems through constant training of users on the use of internet, networking all libraries' computer terminals, provides stand-by generator, and put in place a technical-oriented manpower. Finally, there is a need to overhaul the telecommunication industry so as to get a better result in term of Information Technology development in the developing countries (Ajegbomogun, 2007). Authors discuss the concern over the archival of electronic journals such as unprecedented pace of technological developments, hardware and software updates. Copyright issues and mergers cessation and stoppages of publishing industries. The successful operation of library consortium clearly depends upon a number of things such as good working relationship among the members and consortium headquarter clear policies and priorities, attempts to address the issue and concern etc. However, the consortia initiatives in India are not popular and the trends are slowly catching up among the professional community. Now libraries recognized that they can accomplish more by working together than they can individually (Bavakutty and Azeez, 2006). The libraries and information centers with their static financial allocations have to consider new ways to consolidate global resources amongst them in order to maximize their limited financial resources. Fortunately, availability of powerful computers at affordable cost, speed of telecommunication networks to remote areas, advent of internet, increasing interest in creating digital contents etc, are now helping the library and information professionals to give answer to the challenges occurring due to the explosion of information and knowledge, increasing cost of library materials, changing format of reading materials, shrinking library budget and increasing demand of the users for information and knowledge. Keeping in view of these factors, he discusses the concept of resource sharing and the role of library consortia as an effective collaborative approach to face challenges of modern librarianship (Bhatt, 2006).