"Alone We Can Do So Little; Together We Can Do So Much" Collaborative Library Projects at the University of Divinity

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Kerrie Burn


The librarians associated with the University of Divinity in Australia (founded 1910) have a long history of cooperation. These librarians have been formally meeting for over twenty years to discuss and resolve common issues and to advance projects of mutual benefit. Through their shared vision it has been possible to achieve significantly more than would ever have been possible if they had not worked collaboratively. This paper will highlight a number of recent library projects that have required the collaboration of the eleven constituent university colleges and those colleges’ fifteen associated libraries. Projects include the development of the Library Hub, enabling all staff and students to access a significantly increased number of online resources. Cooperation among librarians has also been instrumental in enabling the introduction of a single University ID card across all libraries, as well as instituting a collaborative purchasing model for the ordering of single title eBooks across the university membership. The fifteen libraries are also currently implementing a new combined library catalog (UDCat) which will give greater world-wide exposure to the collections of all participating libraries. Future projects under discussion include the creation of University-Library agreements that will outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties and the development of a formal retention policy so that no individual library discards any unique title from their collection. This presentation identifies some of the factors that have facilitated the success of recent collaborative projects as well as potential barriers to project success.

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