December 22, 2021. Project ReShare closes out the year by welcoming the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) to the ReShare Community. In addition to contributing leadership and engagement to the Project, BLC will be making a significant financial contribution. Founded in 1970, the BLC is an academic library consortium serving 21 public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state and special research libraries in the northeastern United States.
The BLC's collective collection has been a cornerstone throughout its history, and the consortium has always sought creative ways to leverage the collection for the benefit of member institutions. With the transformative opportunity of controlled digital lending (CDL), BLC is once again seeking an opportunity to make resource sharing more valuable and effective for its members.
BLC's recent efforts to develop a path forward for consortial controlled digital lending (CDL) have illuminated the significant need for alternative resource sharing technologies to those currently available from vendors, in particular the need for community-led and community-governed alternatives such as Project ReShare. "The current library technology market has left libraries to cobble together solutions that meet local needs that fail to truly capitalize on the transformative potential that CDL offers," said Charlie Barlow, BLC's executive director. "The possibilities for an interoperable solution developed collaboratively by and for libraries and consortia hold great promise."
The initial $100,000 financial commitment from the BLC is intended to accelerate the development path for CDL functionality within the ReShare client.
For Dorothy Meaney, president of the BLC and director of the Tisch Library at Tufts University, joining Project ReShare offers the BLC the opportunity to magnify its impact by collaborating with other libraries to collectively shape the future of both CDL and resource sharing more broadly. "Our goals for resource sharing align with those of other libraries and consortia," said Meaney. "Through Project ReShare we see the chance to contribute our expertise and leadership in this space, for the long-term benefit of libraries."
The BLC's CDL Steering Committee, which is guiding the consortium's implementation of CDL, is prepared to work directly with Project ReShare community members and developers on the development of CDL functionality. As a result of the work that the BLC has done thus far, coupled with its previous discussions with other Project ReShare members and staff from Index Data, the consortium has a great deal of expertise and vision for CDL, and how this can manifest in practical, impactful solutions for libraries and consortia.
Tim McGeary, chair of the Project ReShare Steering Committee, praised BLC's investment in Project ReShare. "We recognize that such a large financial commitment isn't possible for everyone, but we hope BLC's investment will serve as a model for other potential members," McGeary noted. "Interest in Project ReShare is increasing rapidly, and the financial investments are crucial to our being able to meet the development expectations of the community."
The decision to join Project ReShare was approved unanimously by the BLC Board of Directors.
About Project ReShare
The ReShare Community is a group of libraries, consortia, information organizations and developers, with both commercial and non-commercial interests, who came together in 2018 to create Project ReShare – a new and open approach to library resource sharing. The ReShare Community has a bold vision for building a user-centered, app-based, community-owned resource sharing platform for libraries to set a new standard for how we connect library patrons to the resources and information they require.
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About the Boston Library Consortium
Founded in 1970, the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) is an academic library consortium serving public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state and special research libraries in the northeastern United States. The BLC members collaborate to deliver innovative and cost-effective sharing of print and digital content, professional development initiatives, and projects across a wide range of library practice areas. For more information, visit blc.org.