Be collaborative : make friends.

CWe talk a lot about collaborating, but how many libraries actually actively collaborate with others to achieve great collections for our customers? We may belong to a consortium, but once that partnership is formed, how often do we revisit & revise the terms of the collaboration?

What if … we paired up with the institution that we interloan most of our stuff to/from, and decided to create complimentary collection policies? Collect different things. Share widely. Share freely. Spread the money further.

What if … we promoted Open Access & Open Source to all our customers? Find out who in our communitities knows about & uses it, tap into their skills to share the knowledge. Let the community collaborate to share stuff better.

What if … we asked alumni to donate money for a dedicated collection in their name? Who received the last honorary PhD at your research institution? Ask them if they want to create a legacy collection. Ask them if they want a building with their name on it. Ask. Ask. Ask. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.

What if … we encouraged the Linguistics Department to pair up with the Broadcasting Department, and support them both to partner with Radio NZ’s Sound Archives. The valuable content could be opened up for research, transcription, wider distribution.

What if … we asked the Design School to create new chairs & desks for the library? Create an opportunity for students to work through a project brief. Showcase their work. Deliver a winning outcome.

Controversial. Calculating. Complex. Concerned. Co-ordinated. Cryptic. Courageous. Cheeky.