In the early 1980s the state of Illinois formed a state-wide resource sharing consortium under a state network called ILLINET, founded on an OCLC-based bibliographic database and a consortium of 18 regional library systems. This consortium successfully supported resource sharing among all types of library for nearly 15 years. In the mid-1990s, financial and technical developments led to the dissolving of the consortium and the realignment of some of its major academic library members with other academic libraries outside the original group. Thus what was once considered a model for the future of multi-type library consortia became a dysfunctional and non-operative organisation. This paper examines the financial, political, and technical factors that led to these changes and assesses the short- and long-term impacts on resource sharing for users of the original consortium. Other similar resource sharing consortia models are examined and compared with the Illinois experience. Possible lessons and implications are discussed and possible outcomes listed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences