The Carolina consortium encompasses any North and South Carolina library that wishes to be a part of it. The volunteers of the consortium (mostly uncg librarians) work with vendors creating deals for all libraries to take advantage of. As we know there is strength in numbers, and joining together not only saves each library dollars for materials but also man power of each library dealing with vendors on the same products.
Tim Bucknell, at UNCG is the primary host of the consortium meeting and has been since I have been attending the meetings. Tim provides current and background information about the deals each volunteer is working on (ie. Springer, ebsco, sage etc.). Those in attendance ask questions, provide additional information on the product and in some cases voice opinions if a deal should or not be continued. Typically the more libraries that purchase the same package the better the deal. But it is still up to each individual library if they will purchase a package.
Although vendors are not allowed in to the annual meeting, they do support it by supplying lunch, snacks, parking etc. This year they also shared information on their new products through lighting round sessions. It was a wonderful way to hear about new products without the sales pressure we sometimes feel. One shared product I found interesting was from Films on Demand, faculty wishing to share a film with students can add their personal remarks prior to students viewing the film. Films on Demand can be accessed through NCLive.
Yesterday’s meeting also included two afternoon sessions, the first consisting of three concurrent sessions. The one I choose is one I have been involved in through phone conversations prior to yesterday. The session was titled “The Book Stops Here: Carolinas Shared Monograph Retention?” The session was well attended and drew many questions and interest from North and South Carolina library attendees. This topic is dear to my heart and I do hope the conversation continues and draws much needed support.
The second afternoon session was lighting rounds given by various library employees throughout the states, which feel strongly about a topic. Yesterday’s lighting rounds included information about library space and electronic grants, to measuring student retention.