ALA begins online survey of library networks, cooperatives and consortia

Contact: Denise M. Davis
Director, Office for Research & Statistics
dmdavis@ala.org
For Immediate Release
March 7, 2006

ALA begins online survey of library networks, cooperatives and consortia

CHICAGO — ALA launched a baseline web-based survey of library networks, cooperatives and consortia on March 6, 2006. The ALA Office for Research & Statistics (ORS), in collaboration with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), coordinates this project.

“Library cooperatives provide so many services that help libraries work together efficiently and effectively,” said ASCLA President Diana Paque. “ASCLA is delighted both with ALA's initiative in seeking this grant and in the opportunity to gather and analyze information about networks and cooperatives. Gathering this information will assist ASCLA in better addressing member needs and in identifying programs and services that ASCLA can develop and provide for our network and cooperative members.”

This research study begins with a baseline survey to determine the universe of these library organizations. A second, more detailed, survey will be conducted in fall 2006. The final products of these surveys will include a web-based directory of library cooperatives, an online report generator, slide presentations about the project and outcomes, and a final written report, including success stories. This research project will result in a clear and current understanding of how library cooperatives operate, and the many ways in which these collaborative organizations help to advance learning communities.

“The level of research we will accomplish under this grant fits perfectly with the ALA Ahead to 2010 Strategic Plan, which ranks research as the first strategic objective in its first goal, to advocate for libraries and the profession,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.

In September 2005 the ALA was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant to conduct this research, and the study was supported by ASCLA, COSLA, NCES, NCLIS, and various other library organizations [ www.imls.gov/recipients/recipients.shtm]. Coordinated by the ALA Office for Research & Statistics (ORS), the team of RSL Research Group has been hired to support the study, analyze responses and prepare a final report. The project timeline is 2006 and 2007. For more information, contact the ALA Office for Research and Statistics at ors@ala.org or visit the study website at www.ala.org/lncc.