Library Joins Two New Partnerships
In keeping with the Academic Commons Task Force’s 2011 recommendations regarding Library collections, the Library has taken memberships in two organizations, the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and the OCLC Research Library Partnership (ORLP) in order to augment access to materials, particularly specialized, research-level, historical and archival materials. Both organizations have a national membership base among large research libraries as well as some college libraries, and both speak to Occidental’s need to support ambitious programs of student and faculty research.
The Center for Research Libraries in Chicago (http://www.crl.edu/ ) is now over 60 years old and houses vast collections in physical and microfilm copy and increasingly in digitized form. The collections speak internationally to a variety of disciplines, especially those that might loosely be called history and area studies (http://www.crl.edu/collections/topics), with newspapers, journals, government archives and publications, dissertations, etc. (http://www.crl.edu/collections). CRL is a leader among library consortia in mediating large-scale collaborative projects for the collecting and preservation of print and digital materials. Membership allows onsite access to collections in Chicago, and the interlibrary loan period suits the need of scholars for extended access. Note that access to some of the digital collections requires purchase and is not automatically available through membership.
Of great importance to the Library’s plan for journals is CRL’s recently initiated partnership with another large repository of serial literature, the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology, an independent research library in Kansas City (http://www.lindahall.org/). LHL houses one of the largest collections of scientific journals in the world. CRL membership allows the Library to rely on LHL for access through our existing Rapid ILL system; this access will be particularly important for older journals that the Library does not replace with online archives. Rapid is familiar to campus readers as an interlibrary system that delivers digital scans of journal articles to desktops usually within twelve hours of request.
Occidental is also a new member of the OCLC Research Library Partnership http://www.oclc.org/research/partnership.html, known for over 30 years beginning in the 1970s as the Research Libraries Group (RLG). Along with programs for special collections and collaborative research on issues facing research libraries and their materials, ORLP has an interlibrary lending program called SHARES, which guarantees preferred treatment of lending requests and the lowest possible transaction fees for loans. Membership includes a who’s-who of United States, Canadian, and international university, museum, and independent research libraries (http://www.oclc.org/research/partnership/roster.html). The privileges of membership will be largely invisible to Occidental readers because they enhance access the Library to some extent already has to many of these collections through interlibrary loan channels; being a partner has the advantages mentioned above, however, as well as those of onsite access to materials and the potential for delivery of special collections.
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