JISC is supporting a SCONUL project to understand in depth how ‘above campus’ (consortium or national) electronic resource management might benefit university libraries and what functions in might encompass. This builds on the Shared Services Feasibility Study undertaken by SCONUL for HEFCE in 2009.

Sixteen UK universities have signed up to support this work. The project is visiting each library to discuss different aspects of the electronic resource management process, and to get feedback from the relevant staff on how processes might change and what benefits might accrue if a shared service was introduced. The project is also sharing information with the US-based Kuali Foundation OLE project.

As detailed in the workshop plan, this work is focused on 18 typical Use Cases and each site will contribute by detailing the shared service (‘above campus’ opportunities around one Use Case. These worked examples are shared in this blog along with brief reflections from each library team. The collection will be complete by late February.

The investigation also involves all 16 institutions in practitioner and senior management workshops to synthesise the findings and to assess the corporate business cases for service options. A final report is expected in April 2011.

The project team includes David Kay, Owen Stephens and Ken Chad plus Regina Ferguson and Angela Walker from the University of Salford’s MERI project (JISC LMS programme). The team reports to a SCONUL Steering Group chaired by Anne Bell (University of Warwick) with representatives from Bournemouth, Bradford, Stirling, Wesminster, Wolverhampton, the M25 Consortium and JISC.

There is further background on the SCONUL Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) wiki8, which also includes other information about library technology and systems. For further information contact the SCONUL Chief Executive – ann.rossiter@sconul.uk