Joint-use libraries & Cooperative efforts of libraries.

  • Genevieve Hart Department of Library & Information Science, University of the Western Cape


"You librarians are light years ahead of us" - so an American academic is quoted in the introduction to these books, when confronted with his university library's cooperative ventures. The refrain "librarians are good at cooperating" runs through these two "separates", special monographs published simultaneously as the journal Resource Sharing & Information Networks, Volume IS, Number I, 200 I and Volume 16, Numbers I and 2, 2002, respectively. Surely the comment can be applied to South Africa - where our libraries' consortia might well show the way in the current higher education mergers and where our public library systems rely on cooperation between provincial and local governments (however uncertain that particular partnering might be at the moment). However, a closer look at the casestudies inside these two books reveals how limited our vision has been. Despite all the calls for "transformed" library structures in the early I990s, we still have separate library sectors - public, academic, school, special - , with little cooperation among them beyond interlibrary lending.
Book Reviews