The Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science contains the quote: “the success and survival of big libraries will depend on how much and to what extent libraries co-operate with each other in future”. What this co-operation boils down to is collaborative and effective resource sharing.
While resource sharing may have begun with the simple concept of interlibrary loans, it now spans all aspects of a library’s functions. Co-operative acquisitions, collection development, shared cataloguing, centralised processing, sharing of bibliographical data, exchange of electronic documents and articles, and obtaining photocopies of articles are the most prevalent.
The sheer magnitude of information and documents available today makes it impossible for a library to own every single item. The exponential growth in content, caused by advancements in technology for information processing and dissemination, has seen an explosion of published documents, but due to budget restraints libraries cannot own or subscribe to everything. This is where resource sharing comes in.
How resource sharing provides a solution
As it’s completely unreasonable to expect any library to be able to hold all the resources its users need, resource sharing allows for ‘spreading the load’ and sharing the costs through co-operation and coordination between participating libraries.
Every library has the goal of helping their users find the information they need. But with the advent of the internet, and the easy availability of information, libraries now have five basic aspects that they need to address in order to satisfy their users’ needs: accessibility, timeliness, readability, relevance, and authority. And by resource sharing, any library can give its users access to a universe of materials – whether local, regional or global – at the click of a mouse, that are relevant and legitimately sourced.
Sabinet’s resource-sharing solution
Sabinet offers simplified Interlibrary Loan (ILL) processes through a cooperative resource sharing network. Between 2018 and 2019, there was an increase of 67% in ILL requests placed by South African libraries.
Tipasa is an exciting addition to Sabinet’s resource sharing solutions that continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of libraries and their users – providing an enhanced user experience without requiring heavy IT support, server management or extensive configuration.
Tipasa, is the first cloud-based interlibrary loan management system that automates routine borrowing and lending functions for individual libraries. It enables users to place and monitor requests from anywhere on any device. Email notifications will let the user know the moment the request is fulfilled. Unmediated document requesting from selected lenders is also possible. This lightens staff’s workload by automatically pushing user requests to valid lending libraries based on certain criteria. When a preferred lender supplies the document, users can receive it without intervention.
For Sabinet, it is about more than just the facilitation of access to resources. The company places strong emphasis on product development, customer support and training, and in doing so, create client partnerships for life.