Library management system Essay
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
1. 1 Background of the study With diminishing finances, it is rarely possible for a library or information center to have enough resources to fulfill the needs of its clients. What is being delivered is only a portion of what their clients actually need (Ramos & Mohd Ali, 2005). Collaboration is widely recognized as the best way for libraries to cope with the ever increasing challenges: volume of information resources; nature and quality of information; user needs and expectations; information and communication technology competencies and infrastructure; inflated cost of information resources; and staffing needs.
However, although these challenges have continued to prevail, libraries working under collaborative initiatives like the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) have registered tremendous success. This thesis reports the findings of a thorough study to establish the factors that have led to the success of CARLI and how such success factors can be applied in libraries of developing countries like Uganda. Emphasis is placed on the establishment of CARLI leadership, the sharing of responsibility and decision making processes as well as sources of funding for the consortium.
Also central to the research study is exploration of the role and responsibility of participating member libraries and their contributions to and expectations from the consortium. I contend that lack of funding to facilitate consortium activitiesis not the central factor in the failed progress of the planned consortium activities in Uganda, rather it is the lack of committed leadership and cooperation among participating libraries that is responsible for the lack of progress.
In any kind of organization or cooperation like a library consortium, funding has never been enough due to ever changing technologies and continuous demands from library patrons. However, good leadership and cooperation among membership plays a bigger role in achieving a common goal. Having and working towards a common goal, under dedicated, dynamic and faithful leadership with an active and energetic membership plays a great role in the success of a consortium.
2 To assist in the possible improvement of consortium operations in Uganda, I need to understand the leadership, responsibility, staffing, collection, policies and procedures, funding and structure of academic libraries in the participating membership of CARLI in comparison with those of Uganda. My research has incorporated interviews with CARLI staff and a questionnaire survey to all the participating CARLI membership. 1. 2 Problem statement.
There is now ample research on the benefits of library collaboration mainly in developed countries (Kaul 2001, Riley 2006, Wright 2006, Bennett 2007, Foulonneau et al. 2007, Williams 2008, Feather, Bracken & Diaz 2008, Butler 1998, Domatob, 1998). In Africa, a lot of research has been devoted toward the need for collaboration (Musoke 2008, Paulos 2008, Kinengyere 2007, Ibeun & Obasuyi 2007,Amaeshi (Ed. ) 2003, Kaul 2001, Rosenberg 2001, Ade Ajayi, Goma & Johnson 1996) and a few registered successes (Musoke 2008, Paulos 2008, Rosenberg 2001, Kinengyere 2007, Ibeun & Obasuyi 2007, Amaeshi (Ed.) 2003, Kaul 2001).
However, no research has been reported on how to apply identified success factorsfrom developed countries in order to bring a change in developing countries. Developed countries have registered tremendous success stories compared to less developed countries; failure in developing countries has been attributed to poor funding without looking at other factors like committed leadership and cooperative membership.
The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) (2007) indicates that there are six public and twenty-four private universities giving a total of thirty registered universities in Uganda. Of these, only twenty-one universities and two research institutions are actively and currently participating in the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries, (CUUL) (2008). It is clear, however, that most of these universities do not have adequate resources to support certain, if not all, areas of their academic and research programmes.
Since 2005, access to computer facilities, books and other learning materials has improved; still many are farfrom reaching ratios comparable to world standards; and, unfortunately, the student tobook ratio dropped from twenty-three books per student to nineteen in 2006 (NCHE, 2007). The NCHE 2006 (2007) study further shows that there has been a 9. 4% increase in the total number of students that enroll in the universities from 124,313 in 2005 to 137,190 in 2006 without an increase in 3 the number of information materials in most of these universities.
Although there is evidence of no increase in the number of information resources to be used by students in these universities, NCHE instead attributes the low level of research across the higher education spectrum to inadequate funding; more so, the student to book ratio stated above is far below the set standards and NCHE does not suggest for these universities to participate in resource sharing as a way of bridging the student to book ratio.
The NCHE (2007) acknowledges the usefulness of the library, stating that “the library… is the heartbeat of an academic institution”. However, its 2006 study indicates that universities have continued to reduce the amount of money spent on books (0. 1% in private and in 2. 5% in public universities) and that library space is being converted to student instruction classrooms. This is an indication of low spending on library books; much as these universities are still working harder to acquire information materials, space to store them is also becoming another challenge.
One of the important things I have learned all through the time I have worked at Makerere University Library’s outreach programme inpartnership with CUUL as Deputy Country Coordinator for E-resources, on top of other significant institutional challenges among African universities, a committed leadership and membership was noticed as still lacking among CUUL membership. While there are already tangible successes registered by CUUL, still much has not been achieved, like spearheading resource sharing as one of its objectives since inception.
This study begins to address issues that are surrounding the inefficiency involved in partnership, networking and collaboration among university libraries in Uganda. This includes how universities with far better information resources like Makerere University can share with newly established universities lacking sufficient library resources. More particularly, the study directly addresses consortium issues like leadership, communication and membership contribution as key factors in this kind of collaboration. 1. 3 Objectives of the study.
• Study the consortium history among academic and research libraries in the state of Illinois 4 • Identify the factors that influence libraries to join and continue to participate in a consortium • Determine how consortium values affect participating libraries • Determine the effectiveness and extent of resource sharing among CARLI member libraries • Identify factors that lead to the success of a consortium other than money • Suggest practical ways for resource sharing in developing countries like Uganda 1. 4 Limitations of the study.
Any comparison of differing societies, or search for causal relationships must be conducted within dimensional identities (Amaeshi (Ed), 2003); meaning, a perceived need to understand the economic, political, educational and sociological factors that affect information sharing among universities in both developed and developing countries. While the majority of the developments are standard practice in academic libraries in the developed world, many of these issues are relatively new to us in developing countries, and we have had to contextualize them by finding practical but local ways of addressing some of them (Musoke, 2008).
In this study therefore, I do fully understand the dimensional identities that exist among CARLI and CUUL; I try to contextualize identified success factors by finding practical but local ways of applying these factors that have led to CARLI advancement putting into context the economic, political, educational and sociological environments of operation between the two consortia. 5 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.
2. 1 Introduction In my literature review, I have found a good representative literature discussing the need for collaboration among Uganda’s universities and research institutions and a few outlines of the benefits so far registered in these universities. However, little is written in detail about resource sharing as a way to bridge the shortage of information resources among these universities.
I am grateful to some authors (Musoke 2008, Paulos 2008, NCHE 2007, Rosenberg 2001, Kaul 2001) who identified some of the factors that have hindered collaboration in Africa, although their discussions outline funding as a major factor in this progress as opposed to good leadership, effective communication and responsive membership. By studying the relevant literature, it will help me understand more fully how other factors play a big role in the development of consortium in developing countries. 2. 1. 1 State of higher education in Uganda.
To date, the existing physical resources of higher education institutions are quite inadequate. Past political instability, lack of financial resources and the general lack of a culture that values maintenance have combined to cause gross negligence in the maintenance of physical infrastructure including laboratories, seminar rooms, libraries, research facilities and staff offices (Musisi, 2003).
Higher education received about 10 percent of a total Ministry budget of UGX 619. 93 billion in the 2004/05 budget year (Ministry of Education and Sports, 2005), a rate that has remained more or less constant since the mid 1990s. The implementation of cost sharing in institutions of higher learning has increased revenue generation to supplement transfers from the government.
In addition to cost sharing, funds are generated internally through private sponsorship of students, consultancies, sales of services and contributions from donors, (Musisi, 2003). However these sources have not beenable to accommodate the ever increasing budget needs. Due to such poor funding, much has been left undone.
2. 1. 2 Structure of academic libraries in Uganda According to the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act of 2001, with reference to Makerere University library structure (Makerere University Library, 2007), 6 the overall administration of libraries is vested in the office of the University Librarian who reports to the Vice-Chancellor through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Academic Affairs (DVC-AA). The University Librarian is a member of Makerere University Top Management and Senate.
Within the library, the University Librarian and deputies form the Library’s Management team, which works with heads of sections and branch libraries to implement University Library policies and programmes, and enforce library rules and regulations. The policy making body of the University Library is the Academic Programmes and Library Committee, which is a senate committee chaired by the DVC-AA. It is composed of members of Senate representing the sciences, arts and humanities, library, students and other relevant stakeholders.
2. 1. 3 History of consortium in Uganda To strengthen the network of librarians, researchers and academics in developing countries and Uganda in particular, the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) encouraged librarians to form national consortia. During a workshop on the topic of library cooperation for effective provision of information in Uganda and beyond, CUUL was established in 2001. Areas of cooperation include resource mobilization and sharing, and training and marketing of member libraries (Kinengyere, 2007).
One of the challenges being addressed by CUUL is the sustainability of e-journal subscriptions atthe end of donor funding. In November 2005, CUUL decided on the mechanism of cost-sharing the e-resources, starting in 2006. Out of the 43 registered Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information institutions-(PERI)-Uganda, only 11 (25%) responded to the e-resources sustainability initiative in time for the 2007 subscriptions and this trend has not changed to date (Kinengyere, 2007).
The networking and collaboration of CUUL has not yielded good results as outlined in its objectives and thishas been blamed on the lack of funds without looking at other factors like the commitment of its membership, and trust from its leadership. Both CUUL and CARLI which began in July 1, 2005, do have a lot in common in their formation. Like UIUC for CARLI, Makerere University Library is the coordinating institution for CUUL under the PERI programme.
The current establishment of CUUL as per its constitution (2001) is composed of a five member elected executive committee (Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, 7 Publicity) who conduct CUUL activities in addition to their institutional responsibilities; and a committee of representatives from actively participating institutions called ‘Functional committees’ who help to coordinate CUUL activities in their respective institutions. It is interesting to note that the ‘Functional committees’ referred to by CUUL are never as active as they should be.
2. 1. 4 The need for collaboration A perceived need for collaboration among the African university libraries was stated as early as 1990 (Ifidon, 1990); and was outlined in the Carnegie meeting of 2004, which identified the ability to participate in a global economy that is increasingly centered on access to knowledge as a critical key in solving the problems of the African nations. One of the goals of the conference was to develop partnerships between libraries and donors, and establish a platform on which future consortia and agendas could be built.
During the meeting, many problems faced by African university libraries were discussed, such as poor networks, little cooperation between institutions that create their own databases of local materials, and very few digitization programs to increase African content on the Web and respond to the thousands of different cultures and languages across the continent. The benefits of collaboration, consortia, networks and peer support have been emphasized in information science literature for a long time.
Most of the success stories reported by African University Librarians revolve around collaboration and networking within institutions to lobby policy makers, within the country to form consortia and share the subscription of e-resources, build capacity andget professional support. The actual and potential of networking, cooperation and digitization is to modify the functions of acquiring, storing and disseminating information and knowledge, hence the need to be supported (Musoke, 2008).
Because of limited resources there is, therefore, need to build on the achievements, share experiences and best practices through collaboration and networks. 2. 1. 5 Resource sharing The concept of resource sharing has been used in the developed countries as a means to alleviate the resource inadequacies of individual libraries. In Africa, it has been seized upon as a way of sustaining informationservices. Rosenberg (2001, p. 14- 8.
15) in her paper “The sustainability of libraries and resource centers in Africa” quoted a Kenyan librarian who concluded that “there is no doubt that resource sharing programmes have a significant role to play in developing countries, given the problem of scarce resources” and “if libraries are to continueto meet the demands of other users, increased cooperation and resource sharing are vital”. Rosenberg (1993) continues to note that on the ground there is little in the way of resource sharing.
In some ways the situation has deteriorated, as systems that used towork (like the East African Literature Service) have collapsed. The survey (Rosenberg, 2001) of University libraries in Africa found that interlibrary lending (the main, if not the only, form of resource sharing practiced), was minimal, especially in-country and within Africa. Such evidence suggests that there is a lot that needs to be done in order to bring a change about the idea of resource sharing among universities and research institutions.
Even though these universities have little to share, even a little sharing may help future sharing of acquisitions in the most demanding subject areas. 2. 1. 6 Research and research paradigms In her paper “Strategies for addressing the university library users’ changing needs and practices in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Musoke (2008) states that there is drastic change in the methods of conducting research and research paradigms.
For example, the demand for a multidisciplinary approach to research has meant that a research project in the Medical School, which would ordinarily require medical literature now also requires some social science and ICT components. Such approaches put further demands on the already meager information resourcesin our libraries, hence the need for sharing. The diversity of research methods is an indicator of the complexity of research and the challenges of meeting the information needs of human beings conducting research.
Such challenges call for immediate revival of resource sharing among these universities in order to meet the changing needs. The presence and advancements in information technology can also help in this process.
2. 1. 7 Policy formation and leadership The Association of African Universities (AAU) emphasizes that the way ahead for the development of research and postgraduate capacity in African universities is through selective concentration of resources within the university system, and the 9 achievement of collaborative links among African universities, and between African universities and research institutions (AAU, 2009).
In order to achieve that goal, AAU suggested that providing effective leadership to facilitate meaningful regional interuniversity cooperation among African universities may help to ease the resource constraints and to build a viable educational enterprise in Africa capable of meeting the challenges ahead (Ade Ajayi, Goma & Johnson, 1996) 2. 1. 8 Consortium membership.
Among the most serious problems of Uganda’s libraries is the low level of and response rate towards collaboration and consortium in a number of library and information science activities. According to Paulos(2008), the most successful libraries in southern Africa, like in Botswana and South Africa, have been able to form strong alliances. Developing complex and strong links and partnerships facilitates the utilization of information resources. An example of a successful regional network is the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA).
In addition to its international connections, AHILA has two internal concerns—sharing scarce resources through interlibrary cooperation and developing systems for improved bibliographic control of the health literature produced in Africa (Kinegyere, 2008). Such strategies if applied at the national level will not only strengthen regional networks, but also work as satellite communication networks for international organizations to overcome the problems of lack of physical infrastructure and as a basis for enhancing access to information among university libraries with fewer resources.
2. 1. 9 Library funding The importance of government support towards consortia is elucidated in the plan of the United Nations (UN) World Summit on theInformation Society. This body acknowledges the significance of addressing fundamental issues of development in universal access, infrastructure, information and communication technologies, literacy, skills and training, E-learning, and E-Agriculture (Ibeun & Obasuyi, 2007). If Uganda is a signatory, it should join other countries in the attempt to support libraries and archives.
Lack of funding has been a bigger issue among university libraries and has been attributed to lack of understanding of the role of libraries in an institution of higher 10 learning by university and political leaders as it emerged from the Carnegie conference (2004) and mentioned by many other writers (Musoke 2008, Ade Ajayi, Goma & Johnson 1996, Paulos 2008, Rosenberg 2001). However, not all African countries are dependent on external funding. Libraries in Botswana and South Africa are examples where funding is internally generated and the quality of library resources is very high, (Paulos, 2008).
As a source of funding for libraries in Africa, including Uganda, Paulos (2008) in his paper “Library resources, knowledge production, and Africa in the 21 st century” suggested the need for funding from African governments; the importance of proactive approaches on the part of academic librarians in Africa – including the importance of identifying unique materials in the collections and seeking collaboration to digitize them; and the importance of outreach, in particular, seeking the support of Africans in the diaspora.
2. 1. 10 Increasing number of library users The growing number of university students, the increase in study programmes coupled with paradigm shifts in curriculum and research, the increase in research and the rapid ICT developments have all changed the routines of traditional academic librarianship (Musoke, 2008). The demand for information resources has increased, with diminishing budgets, resulting in a poor service to library users.
This is further evidenced in the NCHE report of 2007 as outlined above. 2. 2 Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) CARLI is an unincorporated association, with a total of 153 member institutions all over the State of Illinois (CARLI, July 2009). 2. 2. 1 History July 1, 2005 saw the merging of three Illinois academic library consortia to a consolidated consortium called CARLI; the merged consortia include: Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Program (ICCMP), formed in 1986 and provided statewide collection studies and grants;
Illinois Digital Academic Library (IDAL), formed in 1999 and provided centralized electronic resource licensing; and Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO) formed in 1980, provided the shared integrated library system Illinet Online which became I-Share in the consolidation.
The merging of these three consortia was aimed at improving the efficiency and cost 11 effectiveness of services, increasing the effectiveness of consortial and member library staff efforts, and creating opportunities to pursuenew programs and services that the three constituent consortia would not have been able to provide on their own. CARLI has continued to add new products, services and programs including: The I-Share integrated library system, E-resources licensing, digital collections and statewide collections awards and programs.
2. 2. 2 Strategic plan, values, and goals CARLI remains fully committed to fulfilling its established mission: The Consortium leads Illinois academic libraries tocreate and sustain a rich, supportive, and diverse knowledge environment that furthers teaching, learning, and research through the sharing of collections, expertise and programs and attaches great importance to cooperation among academic and research libraries of all types, sizes and missions; respect for the diverse missions and populations served by member institutions; recognition of each member institution’s autonomy;
Sharing the full range of academic library resources effectively and economically; free and open access to all intellectual resources; excellence in providing services and programs; innovation in identifying and implementing collaborative solutions to shared challenges; responsiveness to member needs; cost-effectiveness in the delivery of programs, services, and products; careful stewardship of all CARLI resources; protecting the privacy and security of library records; supportingintellectual freedom; and advocacy for academic and research libraries at the local, state, regional and national levels.
Furthermore, the consortium reaffirms its commitment to resource sharing, through the continued maintenance and development of its integrated library management system, and the provision of meaningful electronic resources, through brokering, subsidization and cost-sharing agreements as outlined in its four broad strategic priorities: Collaboration and Leadership, Innovation, Resource Sharing, and E-Resources (CARLI, 2007).
12 2. 2. 3 Membership 2. 2. 3. 1 How to become a CARLI member All higher education institutions in Illinois that are recognized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and are members of the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET) are eligible for membership in CARLI; andwill agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the CARLI Membership Agreement and any other subsidiary agreements governing participation in a specific CARLI service.
However individual member libraries retain autonomy over their own operations. CARLI membership includes three categories each with a different entitlement and responsibility, and different annual membership fees. As of the fall of2009 there were 107 Governing, 30 Associate and 16 Basic members. 2. 2. 3. 2 Membership categories and obligations Governing membership is entitled to participate in all CARLI products, services, and programs at the fullest level of central support; participate in all CARLI committees, task forces, and user groups; receive priority status on waiting lists to join I-Share and other premium services like enrollment in training sessions.
Associate membership is eligible for most services and programs, and participates in CARLI governance as a group represented by a single voting member on the CARLI Board of Directors. Basic membership qualifies for selected services and programs, and does not participate in CARLI governance or voting. CARLI member institutions may upgrade to a higher or move to a lesser membership level by following the CARLI Bylaws. Eligible institutions that have not joined CARLI may participate in CARLIemail discussion lists, and may attend CARLI training events and workshops at a feesometimes higher than that of the three membership categories. 2. 2. 3. 3 Membership benefits.
CARLI serves over 98% of Illinois higher education students, faculty and staff at 153 member institutions of which 76 institutions benefit from I-Share; E-resources brokering with over 1,000 discounted subscriptions to electronic journals and other resources; a 24-hour delivery by Illinois Library Delivery Service (ILDS) to 141 CARLI libraries and all the state’s regional library systems; the Book Digitization Initiative for Illinois academic and research libraries; in-house development of VuFind an open 13 source front end to I-Share catalog; and participation in the University of Rochester’s Extensible Catalog project.
2. 2. 3. 4 Funding sources CARLI’s sources of funding include annual subscription membership fees where Governing membership contribution ranges from a minimum of $1000 to a maximum of $10,000 and is calculated by student Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment and institution type, Associate members pay $500, and Basic membership is $100.
Other funding includes contributions towards e-resources brokering, development of library systems like I-share catalogue and VuFind, support for digitization projects and the Open Content Alliance, through conducting workshops where each membership contributes different fees to participate in any activity, and grants from the state and federal governments. The CARLI financial year runs from July 1 – June 30. 2. 2. 4 Governance CARLI operates under the direction of the CARLI Bylaws 2008 (CARLI, 2008, 2006). The University of Illinois serves as CARLI’s fiscal and contractual agent under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and CARLI Board of Directors. CARLI operates as a unit of the University Office for Planning.
and Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2. 2. 4. 1 Board of Directors and committees CARLI Board of Directors oversees the affairs of CARLI except those reserved for the entire membership; sets strategic directionof the consortium; oversees all CARLI committees; reviews and approves the detail and thetotal organizational budget each year; advises and gives recommendations on the hiring and evaluation of the Assistant Vice-President for Planning & Administration/ CARLIExecutive Director; and provides advice and input to the University of Illinois in matters relating to the Consortium. The Board meets regularly throughout the year.
In addition to the Board of Directors, there are several committees, working groups, user groups, and task groups established to support the Board in carrying out operational and programmatic activities of the consortium; assist the Board in the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of programs and services; provide the Board with advice and recommendations related to policy, management, fiscal, and on other matters that 14 require the Board’s attention. Each committee or group has CARLI liaison fulltime staff who works as a focal point for a designated committee; committees meet quarterly with CARLI Board of Directors or as required. The committees and groups are required to present reports at the end of each task assigned tothem; the reports are published and made public online on the CARLI web page. 2. 2.
4. 2 Board committee organization Board committees are of two categories, standing (permanent) committees referenced in the CARLI Bylaws and temporary “ad hoc” groups established to carry out a specific task and then discharged. All committeesreport to the Board on a schedule established by the Board. Each Board committee has a CARLI staff liaison.
Ad hoc groups have sunset dates at which point the group will be discharged. 2. 2. 4. 2. 1 Standing (permanent) committees There are five permanent committees established by the CARLI Bylaws. Executive committee: The officers of the CARLI Board of Directors shall constitute the Executive Committee.
The Committee is advisory both to the Chair and to the Board of Directors on scheduling agenda topics and preparing information for the Board of Directors’ review and action. The Executive Committee is authorized to act on behalf of the Board of Directors on any urgent matter requiring Board approval, unless a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled to take place within 48 hours.
The CARLI Board elects its own Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect each year to join the current Chair, Past Chair, and CARLI Executive Director in forming the Executive Committee and will meet as needed to update the Board on their plans and actions. CARLI Executive Director is the Staff or Board liaison.
The finance committee provides the Board with recommendations related to annual budget requests, the annual budget, the annual financial performance report, and any other financial matters that require the Board’s attention. It’s composed of four Board members, one each from public institutions, private institutions, community colleges, and one at large. The Past CARLI Chair isthe chair of the committee.
The Finance committee reports to the CARLI Board of Directors, on a quarterly basis. CARLI Staff or Board liaisons are the CARLI Executive Director, and CARLI Director for Business and Financial Services. 15 The personnel committee provides the Board with recommendations and input into the recruitment, compensation and evaluation of performance of the Assistant VicePresident and Executive Director.
The Board, in turn, provides its recommendations to the University of Illinois. The Committee may also provide the Board with recommendations and input into any other personnel matters that require its attention. The Personnel Committee is composed of four Board members, one each from public institutions, private institutions, community colleges, and one at large.
The ViceChair/Chair Elect is the Chair of the Committee. The group reports to the CARLI Board of Directors and University of Illinois Associate Vice President for Planning and Budgeting on an annual basis. The CARLI Board liaison is the University of Illinois Associate Vice President for Planning and Budge.