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Consortia Structure and governance in Europe Tommaso Giordano Deputy Director, EUI Library, Florence. European University Institute Library. 4th E- ICOLC International Coalition of Library Consortia in Europe. Thessaloniki 3 October 2002. European University Institute Library. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Thessaloniki 3 October 20024th E- ICOLC International Coalition of Library Consortia in Europe

  • In this presentation

    Emerging consortia models in Europe Key factors influencing their evolutionMain organisational components affecting their structure and governance

  • Consortia: transitory solution or a model for a long term prospective?

  • Scope

    Survey on consortia initiatives in 28 European countries:18 countries in Western Europe and the European context10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Consortia for e- resource Consortia as library networks for sharing resource (union catalogues, ILL, e-resources)Consortia for purchasing and management of e- licenses, established by the libraries Consortia for selling e-services to the libraries organised by information providers

  • General TrendsPersistence of the gap between the different areas (North, Central Eastern and South) Discrepancies are arising in the same area and/or countriesSituation at initial stage in several Eastern European countriesFragmentation of the initiatives in some countries Convergence of the initiatives at national level Emergence of broader alliances at international level The relevance of OSI/ e-IFL programme in Eastern Countries

  • Influential Factors in the European Context

    Different political systems (centralised/decentralised)Different economic and social situations (West/East)Different size of the countriesDifferent library practices and policies (i.e. co-operation, investments)Different educational/university systems and policyScarce availability of e-publications in non English languages

  • Key Aspects Scope and Geographical DimensionMission and Policy Core ProgrammeInfrastructureFinancingStructure and Governance

  • Scope and Geographical DimensionConsortia conceived and developed at national level Or: Started at local level with a later shift to the national level Regional consortia (Spain, Germany &c.)Involvement of national and public libraries mainly in small countriesGeneral tendency toward larger strategic alliances (interconsortia initiatives at national and international level)

  • Mission and Policy Few consortia articulate a clear vision or strategySome provide a wide range of library services Some are just buying clubsFew have developed their own licence model Focus on big international publishers In some cases (mainly in Northern Europe) consortia are strongly connected with larger national digital programmes

  • Core programme

    cataloguing ILL and EDDinfrastructure (i.e. IT) collections developmente-licensesportals and user interfaceTOCstraining programmese-resource preservationacademic e-publishingdigital conversion..

  • Infrastructure

    Most consortia have a minimal infrastructureSome have central staffingIn other cases, support is provided by one of the participating libraries In some cases administrative and technical support is provided by a central body involved in the programme (i.e. national library or central agency) Most consortia outsource services (technical support and expertise)

  • FinancingVery few are completely self- financed by participating librariesMost are partially supported by special funds Others are strongly supported by central funds Special funds are provided by national, regional or research agencies Different invoicing and accounting procedures

  • Structure and Governance

    Library networks and new consortiaVariable dimensions (from 5/6 to 100 and more libraries)Few consortia as corporate legal entitiesMost based on memoranda of understanding/ informal agreements Governance and decision-making mechanisms in many cases are extensive (complex) and participative

  • Models


    National Regional


    loose federation (informal)highly structured (legal entity)governmental agency

  • Governance

    COUNCIL(Policy)Mangement BoardSubjectGroupsAdmistrative & Technical supportITInfrastructureConsultantsSPONSORINGBODY

  • Emerging ModelsNational centralised model National strategy (and/or involvement of national library)e.g. FINELIB, COBISS National decentralised modelBegun as a limited group with gradual development at national level; e.g. COUPERINRegional model (centralised or decentralised) Regions (eg: land, canton, regione &c.); e. g. University Library Consortium of Catalunya (CBUC)

  • Conclusion(strategy)Political systems (centralised-decentralised) have a strong influence on library co-operation policiesFragmentation in the absence of national strategiesCentral/special funding support and policies are key factors for consortia developmentLittle consideration of using consortia as publishing partners for university research outputEmergence of transnational alliances (e-IFL, Gasco, SELL)

  • Conclusion(structure)Legal status as prerequisite for long term ( and larger) programmesDecision procedures are slow in many casesSignificant overheads and management costsCentralised solutions appear more cost effectiveIncreasing devolution of responsibility from libraries to consortiaMany consortia seem transitory in nature

  • T. Giordano. Library Consortia Models in Europe: a Comparative Analysis. Alexandria, 14 (1), 2002, p.41-52

  • .finally my favourite consortium...



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