Tuesday, October 7, 2008


We do love our acronyms …

An RLG program group working on convergence issues among libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) has published a report summarizing a year-long investigation of LAMs in a campus environment. The report, Beyond the Silos of LAMs: Collaborations among Libraries, Archives, and Museums, is available from: http://www.oclc.org/programs/publications/reports/2008-05.pdf.

The report places collaboration activities on a continuum: beginning with contact and dialogue; proceeding through informal cooperation, formal coordination, and collaboration—the point of “shared creation”; and ending with convergence, at which point a common function is assumed rather than acknowledged (10-12).

What emerges in this report is a vision of a shared information environment with unified planning, development, discovery, and technical infrastructure.

The report concludes with this:

LAMs might consider the advice of one workshop participant who felt it was time “to start focusing energies on making rare and unique materials a valuable part of the information landscape.” While the inclination expressed by campus-based LAMs was to do so by focusing on delivery and access through their individual Web sites, current patterns of user access and engagement increasingly take place at a broader network level. Users accustomed to using the Internet for the majority of their information needs will soon stop thinking about resources that are not indexed by Google and other search engines. Web analytics show where the users are and LAMs need to respond. This very real requirement may motivate cross-domain collaborations aimed at increased access to cultural heritage collections (34-35).