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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

A Manifesto for Resource Sharing

Anne Beaubien of the University of Michigan was the keynote speaker at the TENN-SHARE conference. The theme was “Smarter, Faster, Cheaper.” Anne shared with us A Manifesto for Resource Sharing that I am still deeply exploring.

Anne mentioned that Rethinking Resource Sharing began as an ad hoc group that advocated for a complete RETHINK of the way libraries conduct resource sharing to put the patron at the center, not the staff. Their mission was to be a catalyst for systemic change , to be a think tank, to inspire a change in provision of services, and to offer people options.

Anne noted Marshall Breeding reminds us that Amazon.com does not need library instruction to use, yet our Interlibrary Loan policies and procedures for sharing resources of all types often does in a library. Anne shared how 1) the internet has changed user expectations, that people can shop for obscure things, and that the Google settlement will be impacting libraries.

Anne discussed OCLC’s studies and the PEW studies to note (not surprisingly) that 15-21 year olds want instant gratification and wonder why libraries don’t work like ATM’s. (Hmmm, I’m thinking to myself of those easy to use RedBoxes in front of McDonald’s, the grocery store, and even the pharmacy. Have a sick child? While you pick up meds, pick up a movie quick to keep them in bed… Hmmm, why are we afraid of book vending machines?)

2) People work outside the library context.

3) The publishing world is changing. You won’t be able to receive telephone white pages unless you request them.

4) There’s more use of mobile devices. Wired magazine issued their cover story “The Web is Dead” with 51% of web traffic involving video streaming. Did you know that social networking counts for one of every 11 minutes online? I want to see that stat in print. Anyone help me out here? By 2015 every student will own a mobile device and by 2020 mobile devices will be the primary connection to the web. That’s not far away.

The Manifest was affirmed by the

  • ALA/RUSA/STARS Executive Committee, January 2007
  • ALA/RUSA/STARS Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee, January 2007
  • Rethinking Resource Sharing Steering Committee, February 2007
  • IFLA Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Standing Committee, May 2007
  • MAILL (Maryland Interlibrary Loan), October 18, 2007
  • Forum for Interlending, Danish Research Library Association, September 10. 2009
  • DELNET-Developing Library Network (India), January 2009
  • Tenn-Share, February 2010

Here are the big 7 principles from the Rethinking Resource Sharing dot org website and their handout with my notes in italics:

  1. Restrictions shall only be imposed as necessary by individual institutions with the goal that the lowest-possible-barriers-to-fulfillment are presented to the user.
    • fewer restrictions, imposed only as necessary, lowest possible barriers to fulfillment
  2. Library users shall be given appropriate options for delivery format (paper, electronic, etc.), method of delivery, and fulfillment type, including loan, copy, digital copy, and purchase.
  3. Global access to sharable resources shall be encouraged through formal and informal networking agreements with the goal towards lowest-barrier-to-fulfillment.
  4. Sharable resources shall include those held in cultural institutions of all sorts: libraries, archives, museums, and the expertise of those employed in such places.
    • expertise included checking out LIVING BOOKS which are people who would make appointments to meet at the library to assist and share expertise, experience, and resources
  5. Reference services are a vital component to resource sharing and delivery and shall be made readily accessible from any initial “can’t supply this” response. No material that is findable should be totally unattainable.
  6. Libraries should offer service at a fair price rather than refuse but should strive to achieve services that are not more expensive than commercial services, e.g. bookshops.
  7. Library registration should be as easy as signing up for commercial web based services. Everyone can be a library user.
    • WOW! This is a big issue with me. I HATE public library policies that make you feel like a criminal for trying to sign up and get a simple card. I have to have my paystub with me and a home utility bill every single year to renew my educator’s library card for example in Nashville. WHY? I have my teacher ID, my teaching license, etc. What business of yours is my pay? And for that matter, they don’t put my name on the stub anymore, just my identification number. Why should I show you that? As for a home utility bill? I do all that online. I live out of county. If I lived in county and was paying taxes, then I would need to show you where I lived, but this is an educator’s privilege in our community, so why are they making it more difficult for teachers? I think that school libraries should be able to work with public libraries to issue public library cards to teachers, staff, and students. If you are under the age required and have to have a parent’s signature, we know how to collect signatures. With electronic delivery, many of our students don’t actually go into the public library branch, but have things sent to them or have their parents pick up the things they want during their lunch break at a convenient branch. Why should we keep CONTROLLING the sign-up and distribution of library cards? Last year during a field trip, one of my teachers wanted to renew her card but didn’t have a pay stuff. We were on a freaking FIELD TRIP FOR THE SCHOOL LIBRARY CLUB. Couldn’t they see we were teachers, see her teacher shirt, her school id,  and just issue her card? It was very annoying and anti-service friendly. I had to check out the books in my name for her.  These type of knee-jerk policies #$%% me off.  There, I said it online.

I need to find out more about this whole MANIFESTO thing and get involved. It is time to rethink resource sharing. Anyone want to explore with me?