The Importance of Resource Sharing Services
Resource sharing services are critical for libraries and cloud-based databases across the world. With the vast amount of knowledge and information available today, it is near impossible for a single library or database to house all the information that its constituents need. The demand for information is simply too great. This is where resource sharing services between libraries become paramount to the distribution and preservation of knowledge across the globe.
Resource sharing can be understood as the collaboration between libraries and institutions whereby knowledge and literary resources are shared. These can be actual physical copies on a smaller scale or digital copies on a larger one. Knowledge sharing between institutions is vital for the future of academia and libraries themselves. The importance of inter-library resource sharing is reiterated by the Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science, which stipulates that “the success and survival of big libraries will depend on how much and to what extent libraries co-operate with each other in future”.
Through cooperation and collaboration, libraries from all over the world can enhance the reach of information and close knowledge gaps.
The Goal and Advantages of Resource Sharing Services
In days gone by, resource sharing services were usually limited to physical hard-copy, inter-library loans. However, today they span across the board, offering numerous possibilities and digitised solutions. Resource sharing services have many elements and may include the following processes:
- Inter-library loans
- Bibliographical data sharing
- Article and journal sharing via safe online portals
- Shared indexing and cataloguing systems
- The exchange and sharing of experienced personnel and their unique expertise
- Publication exchanges
There is a great need for resource sharing services worldwide, primarily due to the inordinate need for knowledge dissemination in light of the rapid pace at which knowledge is generated. Resource sharing services are also necessary to narrow the disparity between those with access to knowledge and those with limited access to keep up with the rapid advancement of modern technology, stay up to date with changing user needs, and mitigate knowledge gaps in particular fields.
Ultimately, resource sharing services allow libraries to maximise their resource base and make information more accessible to a wider community of personnel. These services have many advantages, including:
- Enhancing and circulating the availability of knowledge
- Reducing costs associated with accessing knowledge
- Ensuring that there is greater availability of information for a wide array of people
- Developing specialised and curated areas of knowledge in specific sectors
Resource sharing services are critical for the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, and Sabinet supports this endeavour wholeheartedly.
Sabinet’s Commitment to Effective Resource Sharing and Knowledge Circulation
Sabinet is committed to information sharing, offering institutions four comprehensive resource sharing services.
- ReQuest (National Inter-lending): Our specialised interlending services support the collaboration and sharing of resources between libraries and institutions. This service is supported by WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan and connects South African libraries. The system allows you to see the fees and holding policies before making requests and easily consolidates all charges on a monthly basis. We’ll also identify trends so that you can optimise workflow and streamline resource sharing services in your organisation.
- International Interlending: No single library – online or physical – has everything that its constituents need. Our international lending service allows libraries to expand their scope and access digitised solutions across the globe. By working with the cloud-based WorldShare® platform, librarians can quickly and efficiently access a vast range of resources in diverse locations, all with the simple click of a button.
- Tipasa: An easy-to-use inter-library loan management system takes the stress and admin hassle out of resource sharing. The system automates the lending and borrowing process and allows users to place requests and monitor them from anywhere in the world.
- Article Exchange: The article exchange platform allows libraries to store requested articles securely. Users can quickly and easily upload documents, allowing authorised stakeholders to access them from anywhere in the world. The system also considers all copyright guidelines and allows for automatic file deletion where necessary.
If your library or institution wants to embark on the fulfilling and necessary process of resource sharing, get in touch with the information experts at Sabinet. We’ll streamline the process so that you can optimise your organisation’s digitised solutions and expand your scope.