Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Collaboration in the Heartland

Last week I attended the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries meeting in Iowa City to talk about NELLCO's Universal Search Solution. The last time I attended MAALL was in Norman, OK, in 2003, so it was nice to be back among this group of colleagues. In addition to a great session on the role of the library director given by Randy Diamond (Mizzou) and Katie Hahn (Greensfelder, Hemker and Gale) and a cool tools session where I learned about Gimlet for the first time thanks to Darin Fox, I also attended an update on the Mid-America Law Library Consortium (MALLCO) presented by Susan Goldner, Executive Director.

MALLCO was started in the early 80s, just ahead of NELLCO, and has a long history of collaboration. But for the first time they now have an Executive Director with experience, vision and insight into the world of law libraries. I think this marks a turning point for MALLCO and I am excited to watch them thrive as a result.

Susan reported that MALLCO recently completed a logo design, which will be used in branding the consortium. MALLCO also maintains list-servs for members, and conducts a series of survey for member libraries, the results of which are only made available to participating libraries. The surveys include a salary survey (distributed only to MALLCO Directors), a report of ABA statistics, and a collections and technology survey.

MALLCO recently added 4 new members: Chicago-Kent College of Law; DePaul University; John Marshall Law School; and Loyola University Chicago. You may notice that three of these new MALLCO members are also NELLCO members! This isn't surprising. Libraries often participate in multiple consortia for a number of reasons. Perhaps for access to different resources, programs or projects, or for added opportunitites for networking and collaboration. Are you participating in multiple consortia? Why or why not?

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