PLACON: A Model Approach of Consortia Formation among North Eastern Regional Libraries in India
Over the last two decades, there has been a sea change in knowledge production and dissemination world over; thereby libraries are growing in a rapid changing environment. Numerous ongoing phenomena, such as - information as a commodity, growth in quantity, increased user demand, diminishing budget, raising cost of publications, complex technological requirements, and changing concept of ownership to access are the serious concern; which cannot be reversed. However, price escalations in journal subscription and confusing array of pricing models have prompted the significant growth in number of library-consortia. This paper discusses on consortium as an organization, and is one of the emerging toolkits for libraries to survive; demonstrates the characteristics of successful consortia; recognizes the constrains specific to northeast region; and suggests the formation of a consortium solely for the North Eastern Regional Libraries (NERL) in India. The study draws an attention to the environmental circumstances (viz. topographical, climatic, economic, political, cultural, etc.) that are unique to north-eastern part of India; which makes the NERL potentially different from the mainland, thus hampers the consistent growth of consortia in the region. The paper examines various supportive measures to initiate the Consortium, and uses a model approach to be known as PLACON (stands for PLANNER Consortia); expected to trigger the balanced development of the NERL, in order to take up the challenges of twenty-first century. It highlights basic principles, major projects, and model structure of the Consortium; which would be a centralized, efficient, highly cost-effective system and emphasizes the constant source of external funds that will provide further subsidies in acquisition of online resources. The proposal puts forth major recommendations where 'information infrastructure' is prerequisite to ensure a sustainable growth of the NERL is also discussed. It also presents the strategies for making decisions and proper executions as well as follow-up-actions to be required for implementation of the Consortium in order to achieve the resultant benefits in a real situation.
Collection Development, Consortia Initiative, E-Resource Management, India, Library Consortium, North Eastern Regional Libraries (NERL), PLACON.
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