http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/

Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

 

Library Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking in United Arab Emirates – A study

 

by

Mr. K N SHESHADRI

Librarian

BITS, Pilani-Dubai, Dubai International Academic City

P.O. Box 345055, Dubai, UAE

Ph: 009714200700(Off), Mobile: 00971557342758, Fax: 009714200844

Email: sheshadri@bitsdubai.com

 

Dr. K MANJUNATHA

Chief Librarian

T.A. Pai Management Institute

Manipal – 576 104, Udupi Dist, Karnataka, India

Ph: 91-820-2573551(Off), 910-820-2575161(Res) Mobile: 91 9972425417

Email: manjunath@tapmi.edu.in

Prof. D. SHIVALINGAIAH

Professor, Dept. of LIS

Mangalore University

Mangalagangotri – 574 199, Karnataka, India

Ph: 91-824-2887316(0ff) 91-824-2241777(Res) Mobile: 91 9448358314

Email: d_shivaling@yahoo.com

 

Dr. N RADHAKRISHNAN

Senior Librarian

BITS, Pilani-Dubai, Dubai International Academic City

P.O. Box 345055, Dubai, UAE

Ph: 009714200700(Off), Mobile: 00971554036112, Fax: 009714200844

Email: radhakrishnan@bitsdubai.com

 

            Abstract: Cooperation amongst institutions for sharing their library resources are in practice for decades. However, the mode of cooperation has gone under a transformation with infusion of new information technology. The proliferation of electronic resources in the networked society has resulted in the development of “shared subscription” or “Consortium-based subscription” to electronic resources everywhere in the world.

            The authors of this article tried analyzing the concepts such as Library Consortium, Resource Sharing, and Networking in UAE. This article elaborates upon the notions of the library and information professionals working in UAE towards the consortium, resource sharing, networking etc. Here, researchers have explored the study to understand the attitude of LIS professionals towards the objectives, benefits, and services of LIS consortium. In addition, efforts have put to understand the possibility of initiating the consortium and identify the thrust areas for resource sharing and networking which will result in benefiting all participant library users. Finally, authors have suggested the areas that need attention of LIS professionals working in this region.

Keywords: Library Consortium, Resource Sharing, Library Network, Library Cooperation, UAE Consortium

 

1          INTRODUCTION

            In today’s climate of rapid societal and technological change, coupled with economic consortium constraints, participation in a library consortium is essential for individual library to provide better and greater variety of information services. Therefore, cooperative strategy has become crucial part of library policies. However, before it is possible to implement a cooperative strategy, every organization joining a consortium should have a clearly articulated business theory which sum up the assumptions that constitutes the core values of the organization (Steve, Paul and Ken, 2003).

            Academic Librarians and consortium staff members involved in planning for, administering and delivering reference services are living in an interesting time (Peters, Thomas A, 2002). Delivery of a wide range of services to our members’ patrons is one of the main objectives of consortium. How those services are provided and how to ensure the best use of them is sometimes left to individual member institutions. Yet, there are instances where consortia are asked to lead a project that will collocate those resources and provide a clear uniform path (Jackson, Mary E and Preece, Barbara G, 2002).

            Scientific and research based information has a significant contribution for rapid promotion of research, education and development of various other sectors of the economy. It saves a lot of human effort, financial input, as well as application of physical and logistic resources otherwise needed to re-invent the wheel every time. It provides vital technical support to keep going on all the scientific endeavors.  Success in exploration of new means of resource sharing can help overcome the financial constraints faced by most of our libraries and information centers. In this age of Information Technology, we can go for new concepts and ideas, which would ultimately open new vistas of knowledge to our scientists, researchers, policy makers, planners, faculty members and students. The ongoing process of digitization of libraries would ultimately reduce our dependence on libraries in the form of physical presence during particular timings and the users will be able to search and visit the library with the help of login and password at a nominal cost (Tanvir, 2005).

2          CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF LIBRARY CONSORTIUM 

The concept of consortia is based on the principle of cooperative arrangement among group or institutions. A ‘library consortium’ provides a way for its participating member institutions to conduct business in a competitive manner. The basic premise of consortia is that its members can collectively achieve more than what they can achieve as individual institutions. Thus a consortium is “an agreement, combination, or group formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member”, and it “usually involves horizontal collaboration among direct competitors” (Aldrich, Bolton and Sasaki, 1998, p264).

The library cooperation or networking is not a new phenomenon in library environment, it exists through ages. There have been on record instances of Library cooperation among monastery Libraries in the 13th century. There had been Resource sharing agreements among the universities of Laud, Abo and Greifswald in 18th century. Later example of Library cooperation included the preparation of union catalogues, bibliographies, and lists. Thereafter in the 20th century the compilation and publication of union catalogues, of different types increased in number in most countries.

Driven by prevailing circumstances, sharing of resources is the only option left for information managers. Earlier this concept was limited to the acquisition and sharing of resources, inter-library loan, but the advent of information technology and networking technologies have changed the concept of resource sharing and have opened new vistas of resource sharing not only faster and cheaper but also opened a floodgate of resources available in different parts of the world.

3          COOPERATION AND SHARING OF RESOURCES

Cooperation and sharing of resources have always had an important role in libraries, particularly since the development of modern systematized libraries. Many of our basic practices, cataloguing, and classification methods were developed to bring a uniform and common order to our collections of information. Cooperation is deeply ingrained in library culture. Libraries and librarians participate in an astonishing array of organizations at all levels of practice. We share resources of many kinds not only library materials but also metadata, computer resources, best practices, and expertise in a rapidly growing variety of alliances and groupings. Our cooperative networks are formal and informal; local, state, and regional; and increasingly national and international.

            Resource sharing is nothing but sharing of library resources by certain participating libraries among themselves based on the principles of cooperation. This is applicable in the matter of use of documents, work force, facilities, services, building space or equipment. In such a cooperation venture, it becomes possible for a user in any of the participating libraries to make use of the resources of not only his own library but also of those other participating libraries. Thus, through resource sharing, libraries can improve the total collection of reading material, consolidate their technological capabilities, improve their information dissemination tools, and extend their library and information services to a larger user community (Mahesh V Mudhol and Vasanth N, 2005).

            It is no surprise that consortia are fast becoming a common approach to problem solving in order to seek joint solutions. Partnerships maximize funding opportunities and streamline information resources by linking technology. Costs of electronic journals and subscription databases continue to escalate, and the tangle of funding applications for small groups is a piecemeal solution at best. The “best source” is no longer static, as the mutability of information evolution makes nothing absolute or permanent. Partnerships improve productivity (shared workload) and expand funding opportunities (Borek et al., 2006).

The library consortia, on the basis of sheer strength of numbers of institutions, offers healthy business growth opportunities to the electronic publishers and thus attracts the best possible price and terms of agreement in a win-win situation for both. The collective strength of consortia members facilitates the libraries to get the benefit of wider access to electronic resources at affordable cost and at the best terms and conditions. Moreover, the technology has changed expectations of researchers, their patience, and their willingness to accept services that are available on demand. Consortium a strategic alliance of libraries with a common interest, not under the same institutional control, but usually restricted to a geographical area, number of libraries, types of materials, or subject of interest, which is established to develop and implement resource sharing among member (Vijaya Deshmukh, 2006).

Shared subscription or Consortia-based subscription to electronic resources through consortia of libraries is a feasible strategy to increase the access to electronic resources across Institutions at highly discounted rates of subscription. The consortia-based subscriptions deploys the pressures such as diminishing budget, increased user’s demand, and rising cost of journals. The libraries all over the world are forming consortia of all types and at all levels with an objective to take advantage of current global network to promote better, faster and more cost-effective ways of providing electronic information resources to the information seekers (INDEST, 2003).

4          STATUS OF CONSORTIUM IN UAE

            Incessant growth as well as multiplicity of knowledge resulted in increased user demands, which necessitated libraries to meet these demands at any cost. Consequently, libraries have been sharing their resources, to work more efficiently and effectively by maximizing available resources and exchanging information, expertise and experience. Resource sharing is inevitable among libraries to cope with diminishing budgets, galloping prices for subscribing periodical and purchasing learning resources. Eventually, this transformed into E-resource sharing or consortia in the networked environment.

Currently in UAE, there are 24 technical institutions offering degree programs in engineering and technical education.  Meeting the future demand for library services through Library resource sharing and networking will require careful planning. Thus, an In-depth study of Library resource sharing and networking in consortium-based environment facilitates in providing effective and efficient services to the users and participants of the consortium. Currently most of these libraries have technology-aided services and demand for networked electronic services is high.

Though there are five consortiums in UAE, they are in infancy stage and related to public libraries. Now, there is no active consortium approach/model to address to the needs of technical and management institutes of Higher education in UAE. The in-depth information on existing consortiums is as follows:

·         Liwa (Library Information Web Access): The UAE University Libraries Deanship has entered into the United Arab Emirates Higher Education Library Consortium, a cooperative resource-sharing project with the libraries at the Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University. Now, these three institutions have launched Liwa. Liwa is a single catalogue that will allow students, faculty, and staff to search the catalogues of all three institutions from one site. Moreover, Liwa allows patrons from three participating institutions to borrow books and other library resources not available in their home libraries. With a single search, Liwa provides access to over 350,000 books and other library resources. Liwa can be accessed from anywhere — work, home, library — by visiting the Liwa website: http://liwa.ac.ae.

·         UAE Higher Education Library Consortium is the national level consortium, which has very few participating Libraries. The concept of consortium is recently evolved which is in embryonic stage and taking its shape for the benefit of the participating libraries. The vision for the UAE higher education library consortium is that all students, faculty, and staff will have timely and efficient access to the collections and resources of all the participating libraries.

·         UAE Health Libraries Consortium: The UAE Health Libraries Consortium, a national level consortium founded in November 2006 out of a desire to strengthen the relationship between the National Medical Library and the libraries of healthcare institutions affiliated with the UAE University’s Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. At present, other consortium members consist of libraries at teaching and community hospitals under the direction of Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Zayed Military Hospital (ZMH). In line with the purpose and mission of the consortium, it is hoped that membership will continue to grow.

·         Dubai Public libraries to go online is the national level consortium, which is still in proposal state. Hence, the public libraries in the city are being transformed in to e-libraries, residents in Dubai will soon be able to access thousands of books, periodicals, magazines and newspapers online.

·         Information Literacy Network (ILN) in the Gulf Region started as an informal group in 2005. The ILN is dedicated to provide leadership in information literacy, to facilitate the acquisition of life-long learning skills, to advocate and promote greater cooperation among libraries in an educational setting, to offer networking and professional development opportunities for librarians and library staff and encourage the exchange of ideas, information, and best practices.

5          OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY      

During the researcher’s initial discussions with fellow library professionals on the topic, he got varied perceptions about consortium and networking. Few said it is for journal subscriptions and others said it is collective bargaining.  Thus, researcher conducted an initial survey to understand what LIS professionals think about ‘consortium’, ‘resource sharing’ or ‘networking’.  Based on personal discussions with fellow professionals, researcher designed a small questionnaire to understand the viewpoints of library professionals about consortium or networking. The primary objective of this study is to understand the notions of LIS professionals in UAE. The specific objectives are:

1.      To understand the attitudes of LIS Professionals towards library consortium,

2.      To identify the thrust areas for resource sharing and networking and

3.      To suggest the areas that needs attention of LIS professionals.

6          METHODOLOGY

Population: As the study intended to understand the perception of LIS Professionals towards the LIS Consortium in UAE, the data required for the researcher was desirous to include all LIS professionals working in professional institutions (medicine, technology) and universities. Currently in UAE there are 81 institutes offering UG and PG level courses in the disciplines like Medicine, Technology, Arts, Science, Management, and Humanities.  On contacts, the researcher got the details of 91 LIS professionals working in these institutions. These professionals were identified as target population for the study. In view of comprehensive coverage, the researcher was desirous include census population as target population for data collection. Hence, all the 91 LIS professionals were considered for the study.

Methodology: The Web-based pilot study was conducted using ‘googledocs’ to understand status of the consortium, attitude of LIS professionals in UAE towards the concept of Library consortium, resource sharing, networking and some specific features or components of consortium. A concentrated effort with fellow professionals yielded 91 e-mail ids and the web-based questionnaire designed for the study was e-mailed to those 91 respondents. Follow-up was done with repeated e-mail reminders and phone calls.

Of 91 questionnaires distributed, the study received 71 responses resulting in 78.02% response rate. The response was indeed encouraging and motivating. A cumulated spreadsheet containing 71 records was prepared for the analysis purpose after careful examination and elimination of duplicate entries. This spread sheet served as primary database for data analysis and interpretation.

7          LIS PROFESSIONALS’ PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS CONSORTIUM

            The researcher had asked their perception on need of consortium, difference between consortium and networking and limitation of consortium. LIS professionals working in UAE has given their opinion as given below:

Variables

SD   (1)

DA (2)

NO    (3)

A     (4)

SA (5)

Not answered

Total

LIS Professionals feel that there is a need for Consortium of Professional Libraries in UAE. To what extent you agree with the statement?

4   (5.6)

3 (4.2)

7  (9.9)

13 (18.3)

44 (62.0)

 

71 (100.0)

Do you think Consortium and Networking are same and explains the same concept?

18 (25.4)

21 (29.6)

20  (28.1)

8 (11.3)

3 (4.2)

1

71 (100.0)

There is a notion that Consortium is meant only for Resource Sharing. To what extent you agree with this?

28 (39.4)

16 (22.5)

10 (14.1)

8 (11.3)

9 (12.7)

 

71 (100.0)

  Table No: 1

  Note: SD- Strongly Disagree; DA- Disagree; NO- No Opinion; A- Agree; SA- Strongly Agree.

  Figures in Parentheses represent the percentage.

  Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

Need of LIS Consortium:  In the above mentioned table no. 1, it is interesting to note that a majority (80.3%) of respondents do feel that there is need for establishing network of professional libraries in UAE. This is evident from the response that of 80.3 % respondents, 62.0% of them strongly agree that there is a need for Consortium of Professional Libraries in UAE. Only 9.8% of the respondents feel that there is no need for any such consortium in the country.

Concepts of Consortium and Networking: As per researchers’ observation as mentioned in the above table, 25 % of the respondents have strongly agreed and 30 % of the respondents have agreed that the concept of consortium and networking are not same and does not explains the same concepts. Whereas 15.5 % of the respondents says that the concept of consortium and networking are same and does explains the same concepts. Twenty eight percent (28 %) of the respondents have given no opinion in this regard.

Limits of Consortium: It is observed from table no.1 that 24 % of the respondents expressed that the LIS Consortium is meant only for Resource Sharing. Sixty two percent (62 %) of the respondents have expressed that the LIS Consortium is meant not only for resource sharing, but it goes beyond resource sharing. Out of 62 % of the respondents, 39 % of the respondents strongly disagree and 23 % of the respondents disagree that consortium is meant only for resource sharing. They felt that consortium is not only limited to resource sharing, but something more than that. Fourteen percent (14 %) of the respondents did not reply for this variable.

The respondents’ opinions on some general parameters:

SN

Variables

Yes

No

Mean

Standard Deviation

1

Do you feel the consortium goes beyond resource sharing?

61         (85.9)

10        (14.1)

0.86

0.35

2

Do you feel it helps library users to use other library resources?

68         (95.8)

3           (4.2)

0.99

0.119

3

In general, do you feel that the consortium is a threat for library functioning?

12            (16.9)

59          (83.1)

0.17

0.377

4

Do you feel the authorities/management will support consortium to have collaboration with other institution libraries?

65       (91.5)

6        (8.5)

0.94

0.232

5

Currently, are you a member of any LIS consortium in UAE?

30           (42.3)

41             (57.7)

0.42

0.497

Table No: 2

 Note: Figures in Parentheses represent the percentage.

 Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

            As mentioned in the above table no.2, It is observed by the researcher that 86 % of the respondents expressed that consortium goes beyond resource sharing, whereas 14 % of the respondents said that consortium is limited only for resource sharing. Ninety six percent (96 %) of the respondents said that Resource sharing and Networking helps users to use other library resources more effectively. 83 % of the respondents said that LIS Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking is not threat for smooth functioning of the library, but 17 % of the respondents said that it is one of the threats for library day-to-day activities.

            Nearly, 92 % of the respondents have expressed that their library authorities/management would support respondents to have collaboration with other institution libraries and to participate in LIS consortium. 8 % of the respondents felt that their management would not support them to become member of the consortium.  Only 42 % of the respondents are members of the existing LIS Consortium, whereas, the remaining 58 % of the respondents are not members of any consortia in the region.

The respondents’ opinions on combined collection, work force, salary and memberships:

SN

Variables

Yes

No

Mean

Standard Deviation

1

Do you feel it helps in combined collection Development?

66       (93.0)

5       (7.0)

0.93

0.258

2

Do you feel it helps in combined Manpower Development?

47     (66.2)

24      (33.8)

0.66

0.476

3

Do you feel it helps in improved salary/compensation packages?

17         (23.9)

54        (76.1)

0.24

0.43

4

Do you feel it helps in common Library Membership?

55       (77.5)

16     (22.5)

0.82

0.39

Table No: 3

   Note: Figures in Parentheses represent the percentage.

  Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

            It is noted that 93 % of respondents said that LIS Consortium helps in combined collection development, but 7 % of the respondents felt that combined collection development is not possible through LIS consortium. It is also evident from the observed data that 66 % of the respondents expressed that Combined Human Resource Development is possible through professional consortium. Thirty four percent (34 %) of the respondents said that consortium does not helps in combined work force resource development is not possible.

            Based on 76 % of the respondents, LIS Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking does not help in improving the salary/compensation packages of the library professional. Twenty four percent (24 %) of the respondents expressed that consortium has no role in improving the salary packages of the LIS professionals. Seventy seven percent (77 %) of the respondents said that LIS Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking supports in having common library membership for its users which would enable users to use all participating library resources, facilities and services. 23 % of the respondents said that getting common library membership is not practically possible.

The respondents’ opinions on some combined technical activities:

SN

Variables

Yes

No

Mean

Standard Deviation

1

Do you feel it helps in Developing Union Catalog?

62    (87.3)

9      (12.7)

0.87

0.335

2

Do you feel it helps in Joint Personnel Training?

60   (84.5)

11     (15.5)

0.85

0.364

3

Do you feel it helps for Inter Library Lending/Borrowing?

70        (98.6)

1           (1.4)

0.99

0.119

4

Do you feel it helps in developing common Library software?

50           (70.4)

21         (29.6)

0.73

0.446

5

Do you feel it helps in developing Institutional Repositories?

53       (74.6)

18         (25.4)

0.75

0.438

Table No: 4

   Note: Figures in Parentheses represent the percentage.

  Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

            Although library consortia form to achieve shared goals, the main goals of cooperation vary. One of the most common goals is resource sharing through union catalogue and interlibrary loan agreements. The concept of developing Union Catalog is practically possible according to 87 % of the respondents, whereas 13 % of the respondents said that developing and maintaining union catalog is not possible through consortium. In addition, 85 % of the respondents said that Joint personal training programs could be organized through consortium. 15 % of the respondents said that consortium does not help in organizing joint training program for the professionals. 98 % of the respondents feel that the facility of Inter library lending/borrowing of resources can be done among the participating libraries under the banner of LIS resource sharing and networking. Two percent (2 %) of the respondents said that, it is not possible to have interlibrary loan facilities.

            As far as developing common Library software is concerned, 70 % of the respondents said that LIS Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking would helps in doing the same, whereas, 30 % of the respondents said the other way round. According to 75 % of the respondents, development of Institutional repositories would be possible through LIS Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking; whereas 25 % of the respondents have expressed that consortium would not be able to help its participating libraries in developing institutional repositories.

The respondents’ opinions on combined subscription of online Journals/Databases:

SN

Variables

Yes

No

Mean

Standard Deviation

1

Do you feel it helps in obtaining higher discounts?

60      (84.5)

11        (15.5)

0.85

0.364

2

Do you feel it helps in reduced subscription rates for journals?

66     (93.0)

5       (7.0)

0.93

0.258

3

Do you feel it helps in reduced subscription rates for databases?

68      (95.8)

3       (4.2)

0.97

0.167

4

Do you feel it helps pooling journals among libraries in the region?

65   (91.5)

6           (8.5)

0.94

0.232

Table No: 5

   Note: Figures in Parentheses represent the percentage.

  Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

 

            As far as the subscription of journals is concerned, LIS Consortium helps in getting reduced subscription rates according to 93 % of the respondents; whereas 7 % of the respondents said that it is not possible to get reduced subscription rates. 85 % percent of the respondents expressed that LIS Consortium helps in obtaining higher discounts while subscribing to any resources. 15 % of the respondents expressed that consortium does not help in obtaining higher discounts.

            LIS Resource sharing and Networking helps in pooling of journals among the libraries in the region based on 92 % of the respondents, whereas 8 % of the respondents said that it is not possible to pool journals among participating libraries. 96 % of the respondents said that consortium helps in obtaining discounted rates for subscription to online databases, the rest 4 % of the respondents felt it is not possible to get the same reduced discounts.

Combined Subscription and Institutional Repositories: Most of the respondents expressed that the idea of institutional repositories is going to be excellent resource for the user community if all the participating libraries and their management supports for the same.  Respondents felt that Combined Subscription is possible only if the requirements of participating libraries are matching to some extent. It depends up on the usage pattern of the participating library users.

The only existing consortium Liwa (Library Information Web Access) has some respondents as active members. The UAE University Libraries Deanship has entered into the United Arab Emirates Higher Education Library Consortium, a cooperative resource-sharing project with the libraries at the Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University. Now, these three institutions have launched Liwa and become members of this consortium.

Exploration should be made to extend the service of the existing consortium LIWA to other libraries in the region so that the other libraries’ users would also be benefited from this consortium. 

8          DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS ACROSS DISCIPLINES:

SN

Discipline

No of institutions

Percentage

1

Management

10

16.66

2

Engineering

16

26.66

3

Science

18

30

4

Arts

11

18

5

Medical Sciences

3

5.33

6

Others

2

3.33

 

Total

60

100

         Table No: 6

         Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

 

                    

            Discipline/Area of specialization of the programs which are being offered by responded institutions play an important role when it comes to the concept of Consortium, Resource Sharing and Networking. It is observed from the above mentioned table no. 6 that 17 % of the responded institutions are offering Management programs at UG and PG level. 27 % of the responded institutions are offering Engineering courses as both UG and PG level. Courses related to Science discipline are being offered by 30 % of the responded institutions.  18 % of the institutions are providing education related to the area of Arts. 5 % of the responded institutions are offering Medical Science programs and 3 % of them are offering programs related to Law, Pharmacy and Education.

            It is very important to note that the most respondents are from the institutions offering programs in the area of Science, Engineering, Medical Sciences, Management, and Arts.

9          DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS ACROSS TYPE OF INSTITUTIONS:

SN

Type of the institution

No of respondents

Percentage

1

Universities

20

28.2

2

Colleges

36

50.7

3

Undisclosed

15

21.1

 

Total

71

100

Table No: 7

Source: Spreadsheet of Responses

            Among 71 respondents, 20 respondents, i.e., 28 % of them are from Universities. 36 respondents, which is 51 % of them are from Colleges and rest 15 respondents, i.e., 21 %  of the them did not disclose their institution type.

10        FINDINGS:

Analyzing the opinions and perceptions of respondent LIS professionals in UAE about the concepts such as Consortium, Resource sharing and Networking etc. reveals many interesting facts, identifies the areas that needs more attention of LIS professionals and signals the directions for future research too.

The major findings can be summarized as follows:

·               It is found that about 80% of the LIS professionals in UAE agree that there is a need for establishing a Consortium for Resource sharing and Networking.

·               About 62% of the respondent disagree that the consortium is meant only for Resource Sharing.

·               About 86% of respondents agree that the activities or functions of consortium goes beyond just resource sharing. 

·               Resource Sharing: An overwhelming majority of respondents agree that the consortium will help Inter Library Lending (98.6%) and it helps library users to use other library resources (95.8%).

·               Subscriptions and Discounts: Overwhelming majority of respondents opine that feel the consortium helps in reduced subscription rates for databases (95.8%) and it helps pooling journals among libraries in the region (91.5%). They also feel that feel it helps in reduced subscription rates for journals (93%). They also feel that it helps in obtaining higher discounts (84.5%)

·               Common Resource Development:  A majority of the respondents express that the consortium helps in combined collection Development (93.0%); it helps in Developing Union Catalog (87.3%); it helps in common Library Membership (77.5%); it helps in developing Institutional Repositories (74.6%) and in developing common Library software (74.6%)

·               Manpower:  about 2/3rd of respondents (66.2%) agree that the consortium helps in developing manpower in the library. A majority of respondents on one hand agree that the consortium helps in combined personnel training (84.5%) and on the other disagree that it helps in improved salary/compensation packages (23.9% agree).

·               Management Support: About 91% of respondents opine that the authorities/management will support consortium movement for an effective collaboration with other institution libraries. At the same time, a majority of them (83%) don’t see any threat from consortium movement to their library’s functions or operations.

·               Consortium Membership: it was observed that about 42% of respondents are members of the consortium in UAE leaving big percentage of non members (58%) of any consortium. LIWA is the only consortium, which is active having only three participating libraries/institutions in it. It is functioning well with its Union Catalog which is accessible only for its participating library users.

Besides, following are some of the viewpoints expressed by respondents:

v   The usage pattern, subject areas of the programs, which are being offered by the institutions and budget, should be considered for combined subscription of online resources.

v   Libraries/Institutions, which are having good amount of resources, are expressed that they would end up by just giving more resources to other participating libraries rather than getting any resources from others. Even though it is fact, this assumption of rich donor and poor acceptor is de-motivating them to become part of any consortium or resource sharing.  

v   Information Literacy Network, which is growing in this region, has attracted many LIS professionals and insisting these professionals to make their institutions to become members of the Network.

v   Professionals expressed that formation of consortium is very much possible among those libraries/institutions, which are offering similar nature of programs.

11        CONCLUSION:

The Consortium, Resource Sharing, and Networking in UAE are gaining attention of LIS professionals. The number of professionals demanding for consortium is increasing. This could also be attributed to the motivation or guidelines by Ministry of Higher Education and other bodies to form consortium for offering quality services to their users. At the same time management/authorities need to encourage their LIS professionals to take more initiatives in bringing up the consortium, resource sharing and networking to the existence. The Ministry of Higher Education also needs to take firm steps to forming the consortium for LIS professionals to enhance and enrich services for users. 

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3.      Jackson, Mary E, Preece, Barbara G., 2002, Consortium and the portal Challenge, The Journal of academic librarianship, 28(3): 160-162.

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7.      Steve H, Ching, Paul W T, Poon, Ken L, Huang, 2003, Managing the effectiveness of the library consortium: A core values perspective on Taiwan e-book Net, The Journal of academic librarianship, 29(5): 304-315.

8.      Tanvir, Ashraf, 2005, Need for Resource Sharing and Networking of Libraries, The News        (April 11), http://www.parc.gov.pk/articles/resource_sharing.html

9.      Vijaya Deshmukh., 2006, Collaboration & Networking: a key to sustainable development, 10thUNESCO–APEID International Conference - Learning together for Tomorrow: Education for Sustainable development, Bangkok, Thailand (Dec 6-9).