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Collective Action!

wendy2.jpgSharing. Cooperation. Collaboration. These words sound like the wise counsel a mother might give a child as rules to live by. Yet they have distinguishing characteristics, and libraries have a rich history of engaging in all three strategies. This issue of continuum captures exemplary work of the University Libraries in working with other organizations and institutions to achieve common goals.

Sharing. This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Minitex, Minnesota's ground-breaking and unique enterprise to share our resources across the state and region. Over time, Minitex has developed far beyond sharing library collections, with a current portfolio of services that includes licensing digital content for every resident in the state, sharing technologies, and offering educational programming for staff in Minnesota libraries.

Cooperation. The Libraries are frequent partners with campus departments and a variety of off-campus organizations to pool resources in a joint endeavor. Our partnership with Penumbra Theatre (working with the Apollo Theater in New York) will preserve the rich heritage of Penumbra and create a model archiving program for other performing arts organizations, enabling other theaters to capture everything from administrative records to information about each and every performance—truly a treasure trove for future research.

Collaboration. The HathiTrust digital library represents another kind of extraordinary coalition. Now with over 60 member institutions, HathiTrust has amassed digital copies of over 10 million titles from library collections. Through collective investment, HathiTrust members have created common infrastructure for access and long-term preservation of digital content that would simply be impossible to achieve on our own.

Working together . . . good practice, but increasingly an essential strategy. Mom did know best.

Wendy Pradt Lougee
University Librarian
McKnight Presidential Professor

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