University Libraries Publications

Title

If You Build It, Will They Come? Building the Collaborative Infrastructure and the OhioLINK CollaboraTeS Toolbox

Publication Date

2012

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

This research examines how libraries are collaborating, why libraries collaborate, and seeks the environmental conditions that foster successful cross-institutional collaborations. The Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) Consortium’s CollaboraTeS Project is examined, to inventory expertise and needs within the OhioLINK community and the members’ willingness to share, barter or contract their expertise with other OhioLINK institutions. This is followed by an examination of a sample of North American collaborative projects to identify environmental conditions that foster collaborations in North American libraries. A brief survey within the OhioLINK environment was then conducted that validated anecdotal evidence that the CollaboraTeS Toolbox has not been used as much as was intended. The OhioLINK environment was then assessed using the environmental factors discussed in the second phase of the research, and it was evident that only two of the factors were present within the OhioLINK environment that were identified as fostering collaboration. More research is suggested into inventories of expertise and into identifying and building the environmental conditions that foster cross-institutional library collaborations.