Facing Change and Challenge through Collaborative Action: The CIC Libraries' Experience

Barbara McFadden Allen and William A. Gosling

In a situation reflective of many changes in higher education over the past decade, the academic library community faces signifi-cant and intractable economic pressures that require completely new service models and budget strategies.1 Current priorities include: elimination of unnecessary duplication of effort, consolidation of services and departments, and general downsizing of staff. Such pressures arise from the need to invest (and continually reinvest) in a network infrastructure capable of meeting ever-rising demands for digital information, as well as the lag in research materials budgets behind publication proliferation and price inflation.

Consider, for instance, that most branches of scientific publication show an exponential growth of about four to eight percent annually, doubling every ten to fifteen years. Chemical Abstracts took thirty-one years (1907 to 1937) to publish its first million abstracts; the second million, eighteen years; the most recent million, only 1.75 years. Essentially, more articles on chemistry have been published in the past two years than in all of history before 1900.2

Compounding such trends are changes in societal attitudes toward higher education in general, which will dramatically affect academic libraries. As public sentiment goes, so goes funding for public agencies. And private universities will not be exempt from this phenomenon, as such attitudes will affect the distribution of public monies to private institutions for research and other activities. A politics of survival will come into play as public university administrators react to the demands of a citizenry—an electorate—calling for financial accountability, more affordable tuition, and greater attention to undergraduate teaching and learning.3 As federal research and development (R&D) monies dwindle, all academic institutions will be engaged in sharper competition for fewer dollars.

In this economic environment, universities and colleges are cutting low-demand and redundant programs while emphasizing comparatively strong ones.4 The resulting academic restructuring will affect the ways in which librarians manage traditional collections, as well as build electronic information systems. Moreover, the growth of “electronic communities” of scholars, teachers, and learners generates increasing needs for remote access to information resources. Distance learning environments require continued investments in network and information infrastructure, putting new pressures on existing budgets. Consortia of universities are suited to deal with these initiatives and their costs through collaborative action. By drawing upon the expertise across a spectrum of universities, collaborative action can minimize obstacles and exploit opportunities. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is perhaps ideally suited to such collaboration, due to the broad scope of the consortium and to each member university’s demonstrated commitment to deep levels of collaboration. An examination of the CIC’s experience may be useful in understanding how such an organization can be an effective agent for successful change involving academic libraries.

The CIC: Organized for Action

With headquarters in Champaign, Illinois, the CIC is the academic consortium of twelve major teaching and research universities.5 Collectively, these universities engage in over $2.8 billion worth of funded scientific and engineering research annually, of which some $1.5 billion is derived from federal sources.6 They employ more than 30,000 full-time faculty members and enroll nearly a half-million undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on their main campuses, conferring nearly 10 percent of all master’s and professional degrees and over 15 percent of the Ph.D. degrees awarded annually in the United States.7 Their libraries hold in excess of sixty million volumes and maintain more than 550,000 serial subscriptions.

Founded in 1958, the CIC is organized both horizontally and vertically. Its board of directors is composed of the chief academic officers of the member institutions, appointed by the presidents (who themselves meet twice annually). Over the years, nearly every academic and administrative unit within each of the twelve institutions has been involved in CIC programs, participated in cooperative groups and panels, or enjoyed other benefits of collegiality across the region. Cooperative ventures at all levels have arisen from these interactions, giving the CIC a four-decade history of effective voluntary interinstitutional cooperation among these large and well-funded universities. Ranging from no-cost student and faculty exchanges to multimillion dollar R & D projects, in areas from international agriculture to student aid, the programs of the CIC offer a clear demonstration that these institutions have developed mechanisms that enable them to accomplish collectively far more than they could ever achieve acting on their own.

The CIC has been governed by three founding principles:

  1. No single institution can or should attempt to be all things to all people.
  2. Interinstitutional cooperation permits progressive educational and experimental programs on a scale beyond the capability of any single institution acting alone.
  3. Voluntary cooperation fosters effective, concerted action while preserving institutional autonomy and diversity.

The beginnings of what, ultimately, became the CIC Center for Library Initiatives can be traced back to 1992, when the members of the CIC called for an overall unifying strategy to address the many crises facing academic libraries: escalating costs for research materials, pressing needs for the application of new information technologies, space shortages, and budget constraints. In a conference of provosts and library directors that year, it was agreed that the libraries would collaborate in a strategic planning process to provide a framework for understanding and addressing these many issues. The essence of that plan called for greatly expanding levels of interdependence.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the CIC libraries will have a cohesive consortial organization guided by a vision of the information resources in the CIC as a seamless whole, whether those resources are developed or owned individually or collectively. Through shared planning and action, the libraries and their patrons will have equal access to the total information resources of the CIC. In addition, the libraries will provide the students, faculties, and staffs of the CIC universities with access to comprehensive resources throughout the world. Through collective leadership and cooperative action, each CIC library will realize extensive value-added services for its clienteles. The CIC libraries will be in the forefront of efforts to preserve, expand, and access both electronic information resources and traditional collections.

After adopting this strategic plan (which can be found in its entirety on the CIC’s home page 8), the presidents, chancellors, and provosts made a joint commitment to implementing the plan by creating the CIC Center for Library Initiatives, which opened in 1994. It is important to note that although all member universities support central office costs, each institution determines how—and to what extent—it will participate in any given project. Such flexibility allows participating institutions to contribute to those projects in which they have a particular interest, while choosing a lesser role in other activities. All universities contribute to the work of the CIC in selected ways, and all benefit from the whole of the activities undertaken.

Together, the CIC libraries are working to establish the definitive research library for tomorrow. This future cannot be defined with great confidence, but it seems clear that the foundation will lie in networked access to, and collaborative development of, vast stores of electronic information; deep levels of collaborative collection management of both traditional and networked resources; and shared decision making to achieve cost-effective and balanced growth through strategic planning. In short, this future will engage our universities in interdependent relationships increasingly driven by new technologies but all founded upon a shared commitment to meeting faculty and student research needs.

Collaboration with Nonlibrary Partners

Because the CIC is organized as a consortium of institutions (as opposed to a consortium of libraries), there are ample opportunities for academic libraries to work with other key academic groups, such as the directors of campus computing centers, the university press directors, and other faculty and administrative units. Such interorganizational and interdisciplinary collaboration is manifest in several innovative projects. Preliminary meetings have taken place between the university librarians and the chief information officers to delineate challenges to providing desktop access to digital information. Actually, the needs of the CIC libraries underscore a number of projects that will be adopted by the chief information officers. For instance, the libraries have defined security and network bandwidth needs which are now at the heart of planning efforts aimed to bolster the telecommunications systems shared by the member universities. Other collaborative approaches would include independent budgeting strategies to augment local networks; shared public-service or “help desk” functions for users needing remote assistance in the use of electronic information resources; and joint development of the telecommunications and security infrastructure linking the CIC’s local networks for desktop delivery of remote electronic resources.

Members of a CIC university press and university library planning group are exploring the potential for the development of a long-term collaborative program of electronic scholarly publishing. Such collaboration would minimize the investment and risk for each campus, while drawing on the expertise available across the consortium. In this area, the libraries have a salient new role in helping to formulate prospective economic models for the electronic production and dissemination of scholarly research. Many areas will be addressed through such pilots, including editorial content; technical, business, and marketing plans; and intellectual property rights. The proposed initiative points toward an important potential alliance between publisher and library, and could provide a test bed for the university community to facilitate scholarly communication.

The libraries are also assisting in the development of the CIC Learning Technologies Initiative to enable faculty to make better use of electronic communications, videoconferencing, computer networks, multimedia software, and other interactive learning technologies in the classroom. Faculty, technologists, university administrators, and librarians are all engaged in this effort, and emerging projects include active library roles in the delivery of information resources.

Similar partnerships among faculty, computing center staff, and librarians are emerging on each campus, strengthening the commitment to develop CIC cooperative models originating from both local and regional initiatives. Together, such boundary-spanning activities provide a range of opportunities for wide-scale experimentation. Each CIC member university draws on its own strengths, together with the human and material resources from the consortium, to build programs responsive to the changing climate in higher education.

The CIC Virtual Electronic Library: Unifying Strategy for Collaborative Action

The virtual electronic library (VEL)—a project supported by the U.S. Department of Education through a $1.2 million Title II-A grant—aims to allow any student, faculty, or staff member of the CIC universities to check out a book, print a digital file, listen to a sound recording, view a video, or access and use any of the myriad information resources owned or licensed by the CIC universities. By late 1997, Phase I of the VEL will be complete, including deployment of a state-of-the-art HTTP/Z39.50 gateway (OCLC’s WebZ) in the thirteen CIC university OPACs, with concomitant patron request functions. This gateway will provide a single, customizable, graphical user interface enabling the patron to search simultaneously all consortium OPACs, to access locally mounted databases, and to place interlibrary loan requests.

The next phase of the VEL will build upon work now under way within the CIC libraries, collectively and individually, to provide access to digital information systems. Pulling together these disparate resources into the VEL environment will probably take some years. As digital resources increase in depth and breadth, CIC libraries will be challenged to provide reliable, easy-to-use access to this world of information. It will be important to design seamless access systems that not only extend traditional models of information access but also take advantage of new technologies to maximize the potential of digital information. Moreover, the access systems must interface with legacy systems, such as the vast array of bibliographic databases developed many years ago.

For any successful transition to the digital future, the CIC libraries must partner with computer scientists and engineers, as well as with campus computing facilities. Boundary-spanning partnerships are essential to ensure the most effective and efficient means of providing the seamless access, bandwidth, storage, and security systems necessary for building and maintaining digital information systems. The VEL is the doorway to the vast resources of the CIC universities—whether those resources are print or digital—and is the umbrella under which the collaborative work of the CIC libraries takes place.

Management of Traditional Collections

Although the CIC libraries have engaged in informal or ad hoc coordinated collection development efforts for years, especially in the purchase of large microform sets or very expensive individual items, each institution has retained its own specific print collection profile. Since 1994, however, the effort to create a VEL across the CIC has focused on a new plan for greater electronic leveraging of the vast print collection resources of member institutions.

This plan—developed in response to a request from CIC library directors for more systematic coordinated collection development within the CIC—proposes to move the member libraries inductively from a few carefully selected pilot projects to a more gradual and comprehensive program of coordinated collection development.9 Pilot projects build upon existing relationships and enable the CIC to test and stretch the limits of cooperation while planning for models that could encompass ever-larger segments of the collective information resources.

A number of projects are now emerging. The music librarians are mounting a subject resources page on the CIC Web site. The pharmacy librarians have completed a project to identify foreign drug compendia held across the consortium and have established a cooperative policy for collective reference use of these resources. Participants in the linguistics pilot have gathered data about collection strengths, serial holdings, and expensive resources as a means of coordinating acquisitions, avoiding unnecessary duplication, improving reference services, and realizing cost savings. The geology librarians have established an e-mail list and are investigating the possibility of negotiating a CIC-wide license to a key geographic information database. Finally, the South Asia Working Group reports progress in many areas, notably in the establishment of the Urdu Research Library Consortium—including both CIC and non-CIC research libraries—to purchase and make accessible one of the world’s finest collections of Urdu publications. In perhaps the boldest step, the Universities of Minnesota and Michigan are experimenting with the sharing of a South Asian area studies bibliographer.

Effective staff communication, often depending on personal encounters, is an essential ingredient for any kind of collaboration within and across institutions. The collection development officers (CDOs) set out to build a sense of common purpose early in the process of writing their 1994 plan for collaborative collection management through a series of face-to-face planning sessions, first to articulate a set of mission statements, then to hold meetings of peer bibliographers in six pilot areas. These meetings were important in engendering a sense of interinstitutional community. Follow-up plans and communications have been arranged through CIC private e-mail lists, conference calls, and peer meetings at national conferences. It is clear from these early efforts that cooperative collection management becomes more effective when it is managed on two levels with all of the staffs feeling that they are working with a peer group within the consortium at the same time that they are focusing on locally defined goals and objectives. A personal foundation is difficult to establish in a “virtual” environment, so careful attention must be given to establishing the right combination of face-to-face versus “virtual” encounters. In CIC’s experience, face-to-face meetings seem most productive once a set of common objectives has been established through e-mail and telephone discussions within a given group.

An ongoing concern in this process of building collaborative arrangements has been the difficulty some staff have had at each library in thinking globally rather than locally. Selectors may be uncomfortable telling faculty that their library does not acquire material in a certain area because another CIC library does. Only when the library user sees that the materials are actually available on a timely basis will this general concern be overcome. Thus, patron-initiated request systems, consortium bibliographic controls, and daily courier service among the main campuses—all integral to an effective program of cooperative collection management—are being developed in the CIC virtual electronic library.

Although these programs offer a good start to a very daunting prospect—that of building a single, unified research collection for twelve universities—there is much work to be done with an urgent need for greater collaborative management of journals. Research has shown that even within an environment of cooperation, CIC libraries tend to cut the same journal titles, thereby decreasing the overall mix of available titles.10 Through a coordinated effort—including shared serial records and cancellation data—the CIC libraries could, conceivably, ensure that the number of available titles remains very high, whereas duplicate subscriptions decrease. The CIC has begun to explore emerging technologies capable of linking disparate serials management systems to this problem, but no clear approach has been identified. This will require additional research and attention, and no doubt evolve only as a collaborative effort between serials librarians, CDOs, and automation staffs.

New ways of presenting the cooperative collection management model to each campus are also necessary. In part, CIC addresses this need through information releases targeted first at library staff, then at other groups on campus. Such communication is but one tool to build awareness, acceptance, and enthusiasm about the collaborative work of the CIC libraries. However, it will require time for the acceptance of this new service model, which represents a significant departure from the traditional model of institutional self-sufficiency (even though that was never fully realized). Moreover, a library staff must feel that both the library administration and university administration will support them and recognize this fundamental shift.

The area in which cooperative collection management has been most readily adopted within the CIC is in electronic resources, where there is no established culture surrounding such resources and a clear need for collaboration to both handle cost and share expertise. Moreover, consortium-networked applications provide broader access to electronic resources than could ever be realized with print-based materials—as long as licenses allow for such resource sharing.

Licensing and Acquisition of Electronic Resources

Coordinated by the Task Force on the CIC Electronic Collection, collaborative acquisition of electronic resources has advanced at a brisk pace, with a policy now in place.11 To facilitate the decision-making process, each CIC library has designated an electronic resources officer (ERO) to oversee the local response to any potential collaborative acquisition. In most cases, the CDO serves in this capacity, although in some instances the head of a digital library serves as the ERO.

Negotiations are initiated in one of three ways: (1) from acquisitions already planned on an individual campus, (2) from discussions among subject specialists or other peer groups, or (3) through recommendations by the Task Force on the CIC Electronic Collection. Proposals are developed by the group or individual supporting the activity, then peers on other campuses are contacted to determine the level of interest for each particular resource under consideration. Specific recommendations following discussion of a proposal, once agreed upon, are forwarded to the EROs for consideration. The EROs coordinate local decision making with systems staff, budgeting offices, acquisitions, technical services, library administrators, and other key stakeholders on each campus. The final proposal, including a list of interested participants, is then forwarded to the CIC Center for Library Initiatives, and the center initiates the negotiation process with the vendor.

The existence of a central office for the consortium offers a distinct advantage to both vendors and member libraries. Several models for selecting and acquiring resources have emerged. In one case, the CIC—working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the host-server site)—negotiated with Beilstein to license the Crossfire database for the entire CIC membership. In another case, the University of Michigan collaborated with the American Mathematical Society to make the AMS MathSci back files and current data available through the University of Michigan online catalog for other CIC universities. In yet another case, the CIC coordinated an agreement between Encyclopedia Britannica and seven CIC libraries for access to Britannica Online. Through these and many other acquisitions, members have realized total cost savings (or cost avoidance) on subscription prices alone of nearly $1 million since 1994.12 However, to support such acquisitions on a large scale, there must be a common set of understandings and expectations about licensing and contractual language in order to expedite the approval of these purchases and ensure that rights and protections under U.S. copyright law are properly asserted. The central office addresses these issues.

Development and Management of Digital Resources

The CIC is aggressively pursuing the creation of original digital resources (material uniquely held by a CIC library) and is also pursuing the development of projects intended to support the collaborative management of Internet and other nonunique digital resources. The Task Force on the CIC Electronic Collection aims to develop a planning framework that incorporates not just collections but also the necessary infrastructure and institutional support. This course of action will: (1) draw upon complementary expertises of libraries and information technology organizations on CIC campuses; (2) leverage existing institutional strengths; and (3) exploit opportunities for partnership with vendors, authors, and publishers of electronic and digital resources. Ultimately, all types of information structures (visual image, text, text image, audio, encoded text, multimedia, and spatial and numeric data) will be delivered across the CIC in a networked environment. Several pilot projects are leading the way toward this future.

One such project is the development of a CIC collection of electronic texts in the humanities. This digital collection will pull together disparate humanities e-text resources into a cohesive collection; give CIC faculty and staff experience in using such resources; and establish an identifiable “CIC collection” of humanities e-texts. An exciting opportunity is being explored that will link several CIC e-text production centers, enabling scholars and librarians to contribute new resources to the collection.

Another pilot project is the prototype CIC Electronic Journals Collection. The prototype system is available on the Web and is intended to serve as the foundation for a large-scale, fully managed collection.13 The prototype includes some fifty electronic journals, with current bibliographic records, Web interface, and complete archival collections. The anticipated cost and labor savings by providing this service centrally—rather than duplicating the process of acquiring, cataloging, archiving, and maintaining such a collection at several libraries—is undoubtedly substantial. Although the prototype system may undergo restructurings, it is clear that the CIC libraries will stay on a collaborative track in managing their electronic journals.


The research library traditionally has accepted the role of steward to a large body of printed materials. This stewardship, by any definition, includes the retention of at least one copy of all materials acquired, with such retention necessarily including the conservation and preservation of these materials in order to meet the needs of the scholarly research community in perpetuity. Librarians are familiar with the race to preserve materials printed on acidic paper that is literally self-destructing. Even as librarians seek ways to protect and preserve these increasingly delicate print collections, preservationists are under great pressure to use their scarce resources and talents in the burgeoning area of electronic information resources.

In response to traditional preservation needs, the CIC is engaged in a series of multiyear preservation microfilming projects. Nine member libraries are participating in the current project, which involves microfilming some 8,743 volumes and conserving 699 other valuable volumes. Together, the materials preserved through this project represent carefully selected sources across the consortium of the essential ideas and expressions in a wide range of subject areas, including American fiction, German literature, Africana, and religion.

CIC preservation officers are also struggling with issues associated with the preservation of digital information. If a library saves files on floppy discs, for instance, what happens to those files when such discs are obsolete? Are computer discs of all types the “acid paper of the twentieth century”? How do you preserve the “experience” of interacting on the Internet today? Research and experimentation along such lines might best be accomplished in a collaborative environment, because digital information sources by their very nature are more easily “shared” than physical objects. The CIC library directors have appointed a CIC Task Force on Preservation and Digital Technology to foster intelligent, timely, and efficient consortium use of digital technology in preserving both print and electronic collections, as well as to increase access to them.14

Lessons Learned


Copyright and licensing of electronic materials are of grave concern to librarians and should be to the academic community at large. Proponents of far-reaching changes to copyright law have suggested that special restrictions be placed on electronic resources; that there should be no such thing as “fair use” within the electronic environment; and that digital information should be made available through a cost-per-use model. If realized, such a restrictive approach to ownership and distribution of digital information would profoundly undermine CIC’s ability to collect and share electronic resources, especially in a networked environment designed to serve the academic community. On a broader level, such restrictions would hinder the public-service mission of the university to provide information services to state residents and to society at large.

Another challenge before us involves distance learning. The CIC libraries must support all kinds of educational programs, including multicampus, remote-site, and other kinds of nontraditional programs that require regional networked access. How can libraries collaboratively develop “electronic reserve” services to support distance learning? Clearly, faculty and staff must be educated about certain limitations to such resource sharing under existing law, and libraries must endeavor to deal equitably with students, faculty, and publishers. Individual efforts on CIC campuses, now under way, may coalesce into models for collaborative action.

CIC members must also juggle their participation in many consortia (regional, statewide, national) when making local decisions on the collaborative acquisition of resources. OCLC and RLIN (as well as many commercial vendors) offer an abundance of electronic products for either document delivery or online access and downloading, as well as a growing number of full-text files. CIC libraries also belong to some of the strongest regional library consortia in the country, such as ILLINET and OhioLINK. Each library must coordinate local, CIC-wide, regional, and national acquisitions and services across these levels. This is a largely uncharted area that will require further exploration and experience before patterns of an efficient and effective decision-making process emerge.

It is arduous to change established cultures—even when the old culture was not successful in meeting known needs. Such cultural change in the library context involves reshaping ownership-versus-access patterns by reeducating faculty and users to the benefits of greater resource sharing, and by demonstrating the timely delivery of resources through either enhanced electronic document delivery or use of a rapid courier service. Faculty and research staff must be afforded on-site access to the rich collections held by the consortium partners as well. There is slow—but unmistakable—progress in shifting away from all old paradigms associated with print-based collection development.

Another outmoded paradigm is the print-based standard of the ARL’s collection statistics. Until this traditional standard is reformulated to take into account other resources—especially in electronic formats—as well as new access services, and until it recognizes new parameters to evaluate the quality of collections, the old reliance on sheer numbers will continue to impede the necessary goals of cooperative collection development.

In the long run, CIC libraries will be constantly evaluating goals and programs with particular regard for a decision-making infrastructure that supports collaborative action without placing undue pressures on already overburdened staff. Pilot acquisitions programs have built a sound foundation of human networks, but taking the next steps toward full-fledged, as well as institutionalized, interdependence is a more difficult challenge.


CIC experience suggests that other consortia have significant opportunities:

  • to enhance service to the user;
  • to leverage investments;
  • to manage change proactively;
  • to become a more integral part of intra- and interuniversity decision making;
  • to experience professional development on a personal and organizational level.

To meet such opportunities, consortia might find it especially useful to focus on the following action-steps:

  1. Negotiate consortial agreements for collaborative acquisition of commercially licensed databases, access networks, and document delivery services.
  2. Establish interdependent collection development and preservation policies and activities based on models of cost-effectiveness.
  3. Build interdisciplinary partnerships, locally and regionally, for the creation of digital information resources.

Other consortia might also consider adopting the following core principles and values that the CIC has come to recognize:

  • Every partner must perceive some real-world benefit from cooperation.
  • A central administration for consortial programs is a visible symbol of interinstitutional commitment, vision, and action, and an important feature in a successful cooperative venture.
  • The main focus is on enhanced access to, and delivery of, the right information to users.
  • All cooperative collection management programs must operate within copyright law and licensing provisions, while forcefully asserting established rights and working to expand such law in the area of “electronic reserves” material.
  • Each program must allow for varying levels of participation by different partners, at least for discrete projects.
  • Parity among partners—a “trusted peer” relationship—is essential.
  • There must be accountability to university administration.
  • Communication—between the consortium office, member libraries, computing centers, campus administrations, and the faculty—is critical to the success of endeavors for academic institutions as a whole.
  • Face-to-face interaction is a necessary and vital counterpart to virtual communication in establishing and maintaining human networks.
  • Cooperative ventures existing apart from a given consortium—on state, local, and regional levels—will have a continuing and probably complicating role in the local planning for members of the consortium.
  • The consortium must provide a framework within which members can achieve both local and collaborative goals and objectives.
  • The overall mission of any academic library consortium must be to provide better (faster, easier) access to more information resources for the faculty, staff, and students of its members.


The pace of cooperation among university libraries began to quicken around 1990 when research libraries in the United States found themselves confronting an unprecedented array of problems, including rising user demands, escalating numbers of publications, and skyrocketing prices. At the same time, new and emerging technological advances had begun to change the scholarly and scientific landscape. Although their libraries were under great stress, the CIC librarians saw new opportunities to provide, through cooperative action, better service and greater access to information for the students and scholars they serve, while sharing the costs and work associated with these improvements.

The successful projects implemented by the libraries of the CIC universities are evidence that collaboration can be an effective tool in meeting and enhancing service needs, even—or particularly—during a time of great pressures. When the members of a consortium have embraced the concept of a single, comprehensive, distributed library based on interlocking collections across the member universities (as opposed to the traditional model of many autonomous libraries), the resources of the collective can be successfully opened up to the entire user population. Creative and flexible budgeting strategies in this environment allow members to tailor purchases in areas specific to the research domains of their universities while foregoing purchases outside those local domains. At the same time, budgetary restraints will further structure acquisitions along a continuum between ownership and access decision models. Licenses drawn for access by the entire consortium, rather than on a case-by-case basis, will be more cost-effective. In this vision, librarians collaborate with campus computing staffs and with university administrators to make strategic plans for networking electronic information across the academic institution. Clearly, pooling resources is a competitive advantage for research library services in the new millennium.


  1. Anthony Cummings et al., University Libraries and Scholarly Communication: A Study Prepared for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Washington, D.C.: ARL, 1992).
  2. Eli M. Noam, “Electronics and the Dim Future of the University,” Science 270 (Oct. 1995): 247–49.
  3. Peter Schmidt, “More States Tie Spending on Colleges to Meeting Specific Goals,” Chronicle of Higher Education 43 (May 1996): A23.
  4. David W. Breneman, “Public Colleges Face Sweeping, Painful Changes,” Chronicle of Higher Education 42 (Sept. 1995): B1.
  5. The institutional membership of CIC includes the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  6. FY93 R&D spending in science and engineering at CIC universities totaled $2.835 billion, of which $1.587 billion came from federal sources.
  7. In 1993–94, CIC universities awarded 66,715 bachelor’s degrees, 25,687 master’s degrees, and 6,655 Ph.D. degrees.
  8. The CIC home page is at: http://www2.cic.net/cic/ [July 20, 1997].
  9. CIC CDO Cooperative Collection Project: Report to the CIC Library Directors is available at: http://www.cic.net/cdo.html/ [July 20, 1997].
  10. Tina E. Chrzastowski and Karen A. Schmidt, “Collections at Risk: Revisiting Serial Cancellations in Academic Libraries,” College and Research Libraries 57 (July 1996): 351–64.
  11. All reports of the Task Force on the CIC Electronic Collection are available at: http://www.cic.net/cic/pub.html/ [July 20, 1997].
  12. A more complete description of the CIC licensing process is found in the proceedings of “Licensing Electronic Resources: State of the Evolving Art,” a conference sponsored by the ARL, Dec. 8–9, 1996. A summary of the proceedings is available at: http://arl.cni.org/scomm/licensing/sum.html [July 20, 1997].
  13. The CIC Electronic Journals Collection is available at: http://ejournals.cic.net [July 20, 1997].
  14. Information regarding the CIC Task Force on Preservation and Digital Technology is available at: http://www.cic.net/cic/cli/imaging.html/ [July 20, 1997].