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Journal cover: Library Management

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124
Incorporates: Librarian Career Development

Online from: 1979

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Collaboration and co-operation in Asian library resource collections: An example from Melbourne, Australia

Document Information:
Title:Collaboration and co-operation in Asian library resource collections: An example from Melbourne, Australia
Author(s):Michelle Hall, (East Asian Collection, Baillieu Library, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Citation:Michelle Hall, (2011) "Collaboration and co-operation in Asian library resource collections: An example from Melbourne, Australia", Library Management, Vol. 32 Iss: 1/2, pp.98 - 110
Keywords:Asian studies, Australia, Benchmarking, Professional education, Resource sharing
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/01435121111102610 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Asian Libraries in Melbourne (ALIM) is a collaborative venture between Monash University and University of Melbourne libraries. By sharing resources and expertise and jointly developing collections, ALIM facilitates access to Asian materials in Melbourne libraries and provides an enhanced service to researchers and students. The ALIM mission statement is available at:

Purpose – This paper aims to discuss how collaboration between institutions, especially smaller collections, can result in increased access to materials and specialist staff for researchers and students.

Design/methodology/approach – ALIM (Asian Libraries in Melbourne, consisting of the University of Melbourne and Monash University) has already undertaken a number of collaborative projects. Several of these projects are introduced and the most recent example of ALIM collaboration is discussed. In total, 22 university libraries worldwide were surveyed on their respective Asian language collections, staffing levels, budget and holdings. ALIM libraries – both singly and together – were compared with the institutions surveyed.

Findings – Preliminary findings suggest that collaboration helps smaller collections to assist their primary customer base and supports the achievement of greater outcomes than would be the case if each operated independently.

Research limitations/implications – Thus far, only a small sample has been analysed. Deeper follow-up analysis is planned for late 2010.

Practical implications – The study demonstrates that staff at smaller, specialized libraries benefit from the opportunity to work collaboratively, share their expertise both locally and internationally, and expand their professional networks.

Originality/value – This paper provides possible solutions to managers of specialized libraries who are facing budget cuts and staff shortages. By collaborating with their counterparts in local institutions, individual librarians expand their networks and the breadth of assistance that can be offered to researchers.

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