PLACON: a model approach of consortia formation among north eastern regional libraries in India

Article Type

Research Article

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SRELS Journal of Information Management


Over the last two decades, there has been a sea change in knowledge production and dissemination the world over; thereby libraries are growing in a rapidly changing environment. Numerous ongoing phenomena, such as - information as a commodity, growth in quantity, increased user demand, diminishing budget, rising cost of publications, complex technological requirements, and changing concept of ownership to access are serious concerns; that cannot be reversed. However, price escalations in journal subscriptions and a confusing array of pricing models have prompted significant growth in a number of library consortia. This paper discusses consortium as an organization, and is one of the emerging toolkits for libraries to survive; demonstrates the characteristics of successful consortia; recognizes the constraints specific to the northeast region; and suggests the formation of a consortium solely for the North Eastern Regional Libraries (NERL) in India. The study draws attention to the environmental circumstances (viz. topographical, climatic, economic, political, cultural, etc.) that are unique to the north-eastern part of India; which makes the NERL potentially different from the mainland, thus hampers the consistent growth of consortia in the region. The paper examines various supportive measures to initiate the Consortium, and uses a model approach to be known as PLACON (stands for PLANNER Consortia); expected to trigger the balanced development of the NERL, in order to take up the challenges of the twenty-first century. It highlights the basic principles, major projects, and model structure of the Consortium; which would be a centralized, efficient, highly cost-effective system, and emphasizes the constant source of external funds that will provide further subsidies in the acquisition of online resources. The proposal puts forth major recommendations where ‘information infrastructure’ is a prerequisite to ensure the sustainable growth of the NERL is also discussed. It also presents the strategies for making decisions and proper executions as well as follow-up actions to be required for the implementation of the Consortium in order to achieve the resultant benefits in a real situation.

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