Based on a paper presented at the 27th UKSG Conference, Manchester, March 2004
Libraries cooperate to expand access to collections, but more importantly to achieve economies of scope and scale as well as market power. Library collaboration is essential to cope with static budgets, rising costs, and the current information marketplace. The University of California (UC) libraries have built a collaborative infrastructure that encompasses a shared online catalog and journal indexing databases, storage facilities, document delivery and online requesting services, shared digital collections and more. Soon, this will expand to include shared print collections and new collaborative services. The combined scope of these joint activities and the interactions between them has created a very complex and highly interdependent system. Methods of adapting to these complexities are beginning to point to some fundamental changes in the ways that UC libraries will operate. Some of the challenges are illustrated through discussion of issues related to management of the UC libraries' shared collection of licensed digital journals.