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THE PROBLEM–ITS BACKGROUND

Man’s pursuit for information has led to the development
and accumulation of remarkable volume of information. This search for knowledge
recognizes no restrictions and limits and is never satisfied. It has continued
since the birth of evolution to the present age. This hard-earned understanding
and information is treasured for the whole mankind and therefore responsible to
be well-kept. Through the discovery of paper man has been able to express this
knowledge to others by writing books. Thousands of manuscripts have been written
by the wise men of the previous times but many of them were ruined due to the
lack of proper means of preservation. With the discovery of printing press, it
became at ease to preserve the knowledge in the arrangement of printed
documents. This steered to the generation of a large amount of books. The need
for the maintenance and distribution of information led to the formation of
more and more libraries.

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Over the years, many libraries have sustained learning
efforts by providing teaching resources, information and recommendation
services. A additional active technique has been taken by libraries proposing
educational classes or one-to-one teaching programs. Several libraries have
outreach programs intended to meet the needs of specific groups of people with
limited educational skills. 

An
interchange is usually between two or more associations involving a momentary
exchange of resources, while an exchange will comprise cooperation on a wider
scale, to contain exchange of all kinds of materials, exchange of information
(for both staff and reader inquiries), user access to participating libraries,
sharing of bibliographic catalogs, union lists, and other bibliographic
utilities, and supportive training programs of personnel of participating
libraries.

Library
cooperation states to a equally useful sharing of resources recognized by two
or more libraries, or, it may be an umbrella term for a varied scale of collaboration
procedures and instruments for libraries.

According to Agbo (2013), from time immemorial, both terms
‘knowledge and information’, which are central to the topic of our seminar
today have remained the ‘stock in trade’ or better still, the ‘articles of
trade’ in libraries and librarianship. From its earliest, modest beginning,
libraries have, till today, been closely associated with and thus closely
related to both concepts. Hence, knowledge and information have remained the conscious
‘focus of interest’ of libraries and librarianship thus giving rise to the term
knowledge society which has become a household term these days. It’s an identified statement that no
library even those in first world countries could claim comprehensiveness in
their collection and this is more so for libraries in a developing country like
the Philippines. Though the yearning to provide our clienteles with materials
for their research needs regardless of a limited budget has always been the
major stimulus that led librarians into means that could supplement whatever
collection they have in their own library. And so consortium was introduced.
Consortia have been in the Philippines even in the early 1930’s though it was
termed differently but the idea was one and the same, as it is understood in
the present year.

The
purposes of libraries have been changing over times becoming more faceted and
multifarious. This modern concept of the library makes it defy the definition
given to it in the earlier times. Libraries are not
institutions/building/warehouses/stores etc. of materials, but are agents of
educational, social, economic and political changes or revolutions in the
community and their doors are now open to all who need them. Leheman (2011)

Consortium
is now the widespread mode that carries together librarians and libraries for
activities and objectives that cannot be as successfully undertaken
individually. It may be called a “consortium,” a “network,” an “association,”
or a “virtual Library.” It may be informal, formal, or government-sponsored. In
the Philippines it all started as informal organization of cooperating
libraries with a simple purpose of interlibrary lending. As time passes by it
developed and led to the first consortium, the Inter-Institutional Consortium
which was established in 1972.The original members are De La Salle University-Manila,
St. Scholastic’s College, St. Paul College-Manila, Philippine Christian
University, and Philippine Normal University.

        A government-sponsored consortium, on
the other hand, is one that has a prescribed purpose (usually imposed by the
sponsoring government agency), with a geographical coverage, government
funding, government oversight, and permanent staff. The DOST-ESEP Consortium is
an excellent example.

        Today, the willingness and commitment to
cooperate are still measured by the proactive responses of our model consortia
libraries engaged in traditional library borrowing and lending to the issues
and concerns in expediting their ILL (Inter-Library Loan) and DDS (Document
Delivery Services) services. A few of these cooperating institutions also
provide direct borrowing on-site for faculty and students, such as IIC (India
International Centre), IUC (Inter University Center) , and CCAL (Cagayan de Oro
Cooperating Academic Libraries). Because libraries are now able to have a
direct link to the online catalogs of the other libraries, users can easily
identify the location of desired books or journals, and either request an
interlibrary loan or go to the owning library.

        Thanks to the Internet, collaborative
programs now extend far beyond the traditional. Much of the information that is
available on the Internet is free. And even if some are not free, they are
usually low-cost. Once the networking infrastructure is in place, the expense
of electronic information becomes minimal. What this means for cooperating
libraries which use the Internet as their base of operations, is that the
information they are sharing is far less costly than if the same information
were printed and shipped thousands of miles. Equity in terms of library
cooperation should not be a major problem. Each library has its own unique
materials that can be offered to the public domain, and in the context of free
or almost-free.

This
study, therefore, is an attempt to evaluate the Management of Library
Leadership Practices among South Manila Educational Consortium in expanding
access and resources of the library among member schools.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

        Libraries often group together in
consortia for cooperative resource purchasing and sharing expertise. The
challenge brought about by the new technology like the use of internet instead
of going to the library in the quest for information is a major concern among
libraries of educational institution.  
Librarians are made aware of the importance consortia, which will give
interest to students to visit and work on their researches in the library. This
study may be of benefit to the following:

        Students.
This study may contribute greater acquisition and wide source of information.
It may also motivate them to visit more often the libraries and spend more time
doing research works that may help them function effectively as individuals. If
students will be exposed to different library materials and are made to be
aware of the library consortium, learning process becomes more effective and
achievement level will be greatly be affected.

        Teachers.
It may give way towards the modification of existing instructional media being
utilized in teaching. It may help teachers to obtain information on the
utilization of audio – visual materials in enhancing interests among students.
This study may be beneficial to the teachers who will adopt the uses of the
library in teaching.

        Librarians.
It will keep them abreast of the latest among libraries especially the sharing
of resources and expertise. It may also help them in improving the library
services to make it a place more interesting and conducive to learning.

        Administrators.
It may provide the basis of information in strengthening the library services
offered in schools. It may serve as an eye opener to make them realize the
importance of library consortium in the upliftment of the program.
Administrators can initiate the implementation of library consortium if proven
effective.

THEORETICAL
FRAMEWORK

        The
purpose of this paper is to build up a theoretical framework to study the SMEC
expanding access and resources of the library among member schools and for
facilitating effective and targeted planning and design of learning
environments within the member schools and environments will be shared.

        The theory that guides this study is the “Systems Theory”. In simplest terms,
systems theory argues that for the whole system (organization) to effectively
function and produce positive results all its parts which must be interrelated
must work interdependently. Systems theory is a way of elaborating increasingly
complex systems across a continuum that encompasses the person-in-environment
(Anderson, Carter, & Lowe). The interpretation of this theory is that it
advocates for team work among all the components of the whole system in order
to realize a positive change. In this case, the library of the member school
being a subsystem of the university must make its useful contribution towards
the mandate of the larger system South Manila Educational
Consortium (SMEC) that is to provide lifelong education through distance learning.
The Library and faculties/lecturers as subsystems of a lager system in the name
of (SMEC), must actively collaborate in order to effectively achieve the goal
of providing distance education.

In addition, systems thinking which is basically derived from Systems Theory also emphasizes on team
work in order for any organization to achieve its vision. Systems thinking is
discipline that integrates four other disciplines – shared vision, personal
mastery, mental models and team learning. All these disciplines are useful when
planning and implementing change within an organization. Systems thinking also
builds shared vision. In order to utilize systems thinking, you need to bring
together representatives of all areas involved as a group. When a group has a
shared vision, the group can comprehend and create images of exactly what the
group desires. All participants in the group can then see other’s point of view
and visions. This enables the group to apply multiple perspectives to a
problem. A shared vision also makes all parties involved feel they are part of
the vision and will be more likely to assist in the implementation of the
vision. Library services in this case, are essential support services that can
bring about a successful delivery of distance education to students.

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