Recommendation 1. Proposed Standardized Description of the Orbis Cascade Alliance to be Used in Self-Study Documents
Orbis Cascade Alliance is a library consortium composed of public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities in Oregon and Washington (33 in fall of 2006). Created in 2003 through the merger of two strong regional consortia (Orbis and Cascade), the Alliance demonstrates the power, influence, and extraordinary benefit to our constituents of innovative collaboration among private and public academic libraries. The mergers effect on the consortiums capacity for service was clear from the beginning and continues to expand. These benefits include a shared union catalog (Summit), patron-initiated borrowing via Summit, fast and reliable delivery services, electronic resource purchasing, professional development of staff, and participation in new service initiatives.
A key value of membership in the Alliance is to make available to the students and faculty of [institution name] a union catalog of books, periodicals, and other formats. The Summit Union Catalog (Summit) is comprised of 8.8 million titles representing 27.8 million items. Sixty-seven percent of those titles are unique in that they are owned by only one member library. [Institution name] students may borrow materials directly from this vast collection with an average delivery time of two days.
[Institution names] membership in the Alliance represents our commitment to providing resources that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain for our students and faculty in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition to Summit borrowing, consortial purchases of electronic resources enable [Institution name] to provide collections and resources directly to our faculty and students. These electronic resources include bibliographic databases, full-text journals and monographs.
Orbis Cascade Alliance agreements emphasize the responsibility of each member institution to contribute to the robustness of our combined collection. Alliance membership leverages the capacity of each individual partner, greatly enriching, but not substituting for, local collections. (Institution name) retains full authority and control to select materials most needed to support its own academic programs. Opportunities for enhancing cooperative collection development strengthen the individual, as well as the collective, collections.
Indeed, the strong commitment of diverse and independent member institutions forms the foundation of the Orbis Cascade Alliances success. This commitment is evident in many forms, including the creation of long-term resource sharing agreements, the empowerment of students and faculty to directly borrow materials in many formats, the willingness to travel and engage in the work of governing a consortium and the recurring allocation of significant financial and human resources.