Contribution to Book
Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 37)
Anne Woodsworth and W. David Penniman
Merging two distinct academic libraries into one presents unique problems and challenges. In 2010 the Utah System of Higher Education officially mandated that the College of Eastern Utah merge with Utah State University in order to reduce costs and promote efficiencies within the College of Eastern Utah, an institution hit particularly hard during the recent economic decline. Although the College of Eastern Utah was clearly becoming part of Utah State University, one of the charges was to maintain its core mission and unique identity. It was important that the College of Eastern Utah Library be seen as a separate entity, yet have full access to the resources of the Utah State University Library. Librarians at the respective institutions were charged with extending access to as many library resources as possible, streamlining workflow, eliminating redundancies, and uniting collaboratively as one working library. This chapter describes how they proceeded to fulfill this charge. Described are the practical aspects, such as migrating the College of Eastern Utah Library catalog to the same integrated library system and server as Utah State University’s, as well as the steps taken to negotiate with vendors to provide access to electronic resources to all patrons. Changing technical services processes, organizing reference services and collection development, working with information technology staff at the different campuses, and budget management are also discussed. Two years later the two successfully moved forward as one academic library with separate institutional identities. Experience indicates that success was accomplished through collaboration, planning, and effective communication.
Betty Rozum, Lori J. Brassaw (2013), Merging Two Academic Libraries: Finding Unity from Diversity while Maintaining Institutional Identities, in Anne Woodsworth, W. David Penniman (ed.) Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.201-221