Purchasing books collaboratively: the Academic and Research Libraries Acquisitions Consortium

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Baudinette, Kaye
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In late 2002 the Regional Collections Planning Group, a sub-committee of UniLibraries SA, considered the issue of consortium purchasing of monographs. The Group, which is comprised of representatives from the libraries of the three South Australian universities, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, was keen to maximise the purchasing power of their acquisitions budgets. These budgets were being eroded by continuing price inflation, and by stagnant allocations resulting from financial constraints being experienced in the Australian higher education sector. The Group was aware of two successful library consortia operating interstate, the VARLAC consortium in Victoria and the WAGUL consortium in Western Australia and it decided that one of these might provide a suitable model for a similar initiative in SA. On further inquiry it was established that the current supply contracts of the VARLAC consortium were due to expire at the end of 2003 and that VARLAC was preparing to call for new tenders. The SA Group hastily considered the merits of joining forces with VARLAC instead of forming its own consortium and in January 2003 it approached the Victorian Consortium with a proposal to expand its membership to include the three South Australian university libraries. The SA members identified several advantages
Academic libraries, Library consortia
Baudinette, K. 2004 Purchasing books collaboratively: the Academic and Research Libraries Acquisitions Consortium. Paper presented at ALIA Acquisitions SA Seminar ‘New ways of purchasing, publishing and printing’ October 29, 2004, Adelaide.