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From The CriticsReviewer: Tedi L Brash, BSC., MLS (Seneca College)
Description: This book presents a compilation of articles written by academic library professionals throughout the U.S. covering a broad range of collaborative experiences including library initiatives that gain campus recognition, the art of faculty and interdepartmental partnerships, and the merits and complications of collaboration with communities at large.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a forum upon which to explore possible collaborative experiences outside those traditionally held by library. This is a timely and well received addition to the library literature. The practical experiences addressed in the book provide insight into initiatives that embed the library in all facets of an academic institution; its missions, values and direction. The book meets and surpasses the objectives of the author by providing a valuable account of a variety of library collaborations. The articles address both the positive and negative results of these interactions making it an insightful and effective resource for those initiating similar collaborations.
Audience: This book was written by librarians and is directed by the library population. Each contribution to the book is based on actual experiences and therefore provides an invaluable example for others to follow. This is an excellent resource upon which to benchmark.
Features: A central theme is the need for libraries to reach beyond their physical boundaries making themselves accessible to all members of the academic institution. The book explores the idea that interaction results in greater insight into the issues facing students, faculty, and the various levels of administration. This information can then be used to create programs that support the areas of greatest need. Another central theme is the necessity for libraries to actively participate in projects involving all levels of administration, even those not directly related to the library. This fosters library inclusion in major institutional initiatives. Articles address those relationships traditionally held with faculty as well as new ones being fostered with IT departments and the community at large. The progression of these relationships, the obstacles and boundaries as well as the benefits of collaboration in traditional and new-found partnerships are discussed. Several of the articles stress the need for champions to further library initiatives. Readers are encouraged to seek long-term relationships by developing a keen awareness of their collaborators' needs as well as the subject area involved.
Assessment: Overall, this book provides a valuable, direct account of the triumphs and pitfalls of collaboration, giving readers a benchmark upon which to plan and an awareness of the issues they may face. It is an excellent tool for those looking for new collaborative ventures.