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Consortial merger: The Orbis Cascade Alliance

Of possible interest to liblicense-l readers.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
For immediate release
November 1, 2002


Two successful academic library consortia have agreed to merge and create
the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a private & public collaborative venture
serving faculty and students in Oregon and Washington.

Virginia Steel and Patricia Cutright, the chairs of two Northwest library
consortia, announced plans to merge organizations and create the Orbis
Cascade Alliance, a new library consortium serving 26 member colleges,
universities, and community colleges throughout Oregon and Washington.
This alliance will combine the successful services of both organizations
to greatly expand the scholarly information made available to students,
faculty, and staff.

Orbis and Cascade will merge their already popular union catalogs to
create a unified computer system that allows students, faculty, and staff
to easily search and request library materials owned by member libraries:
a database of 22 million books, sound recording, films, maps, and more. As
an aid to quick delivery, the consortium will continue to administer a
courier service providing daily pick-up and delivery of library materials
at 60 libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  The Orbis Cascade
Alliance will strengthen cooperative purchase programs and bring shared
expertise to the purchase of databases, electronic journals, electronic
books, and other digital library materials.  Through this alliance, member
libraries will also sponsor conferences, seminars, and workshops for
library staff.

Founded in 1993 with funds provided by the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Orbis
library consortium has grown from five to 20 members in the last ten
years.  The Cascade consortium was founded in 1995 and offers similar
services to Washington's six public baccalaureate institutions.  Although
separate organizations, Orbis and Cascade have historically collaborated
on a number of projects.

"Building on a decade of working together on an informal basis, it is
wonderful to see Orbis and Cascade combine forces to form such a powerful
collective," said Ms. Cutright, Chair of the Orbis consortium.  "Academic
libraries in the Northwest have benefited greatly from these consortia,"
said Ms. Steel, Chair of the Interinstitutional Council of Chief
Librarians that oversees the Cascade consortium.  "Working together will
double the resources available to our patrons and set the stage for new
collaboration on many fronts."

Over the next nine months, representatives of the two consortia will draft
agreements and combine existing union catalog systems.  The Orbis Cascade
Alliance expects to hold its first meeting of library directors in spring
2003 and merge union catalogs later that summer.  The new consortium will
serve faculty, staff, and the equivalent of more than 174,000 full time
students enrolled at 26 member colleges, universities, and community

"The Orbis Cascade Alliance is an outstanding example of the impact made
possible when private and public institutions collaborate on a regional
basis," said John F. Helmer, Orbis Executive Director.  "Libraries are
natural collaborators as well as early adopters of the best that
informational technology has to offer.  Working together, we are building
on collaborative success to bring a broader base of print and electronic
resources to faculty and students in the Northwest."

"This is a win-win situation for both Orbis and Cascade," said Pam
Mofjeld, Cascade Coordinator.  "More resources, delivered more efficiently
to more patrons throughout the region.  This is a great step forward for
teaching and research in Oregon and Washington."

Member Institutions of the Orbis Cascade Alliance
Central Oregon Community College
Central Washington University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Washington University
George Fox University
Lewis and Clark College
Linfield College
Marylhurst University
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Pacific University
Portland State University
Reed College
Seattle Pacific University
Southern Oregon University
The Evergreen State College
University of Oregon
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington
Washington State University
Western Oregon University
Western Washington University
Whitman College
Willamette University

Orbis: http://libweb.uoregon.edu/orbis/
Cascade: http://cascade.lib.washington.edu/screens/wclpoverview.html

John F. Helmer
Orbis Executive Director
(541) 346-1835

Pam Mofjeld
Cascade Coordinator
(206) 685-1607