Collaborative Librarianship, Vol 6, No 1 (2014)

Working Together: Joint Use Canadian Academic and Public Libraries

Rachel Sarjeant-Jenkins, Keith Walker

Abstract


The research purpose was to learn about existing joint use public-academic libraries in Canada including their establishment, structure, benefits, and challenges and to determine the requirements for successful partnerships. Following a literature review, a short survey was conducted to gather data on the number, location, and types of public-academic library partnerships. In-depth telephone interviews were then held with key personnel from joint use libraries to learn more about the libraries and the nature of the partnerships. The research surfaced three unique examples of joint use public-academic libraries. In addition, key requirements for successful partnerships that were posited through the literature review were supported by the research data – commitment, a shared vision, and a need that requires fulfillment. Possible limitations of the research are the initial survey’s reliance on responses from academic library directors and the survey timing. There is limited information about partnerships between Canadian public and academic libraries and no single document that brings together data on partnerships across Canada. With this study, public and academic libraries will learn of successful joint use Canadian public-academic libraries along with the key requirements for sustainable partnerships.

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