Friday, March 11, 2011

The Consortium of Consortia

The next few weeks are busy ones for me. Next week the NELLCO Board of Directors meets in New Haven. I always look forward to these meetings and the opportunity they provide for engagement and reflection. We have a jam packed agenda, and I apologize in advance to the members of my Board. I know it's exhausting. But isn't it fun?

After that I'm off to Austin for the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) meeting next Sun. ICOLC is one of my favorite meetings. I've been attending for 10 years now; I started with NELLCO in 2001. ICOLC is a smallish group (100-150ish) of library consortium professionals from around the world who gather to exchange ideas, share information, and talk to and about information vendors. ICOLC has no formal organizational structure. No officers. No standing committees (just coalitions of the willing). No dues. No members. Yet it's one of my most high-value affiliations. My ICOLC colleagues understand my world. They know about libraries, consortia, running a business, working with boards, negotiating deals, engaging members, implementing new technologies. They are a treasure trove of ideas and strategies that help me do my job better. I'm so glad to be able to tap into this group and I know I'll always return to the office with some new ideas and a fresh perspective.

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