Developing a National Library Consortium in Zimbabwe: Lessons Learnt from Other Countries




library consortia, resource sharing, development, access to information and collaboration


This article examines the main lessons learnt from other countries to aid in accelerating the development of library consortia in Zimbabwe. The study explored the development of library consortia in southern Africa, other parts of Africa and countries outside Africa. The study used a survey research method as a single research design. The survey design allowed for methodological pluralism. The study sought to generate knowledge on the experiences of other countries in developing library consortia for nationwide access. The main research question driving the study is “What lessons can Zimbabwe learn from the successes and challenges of library consortia in southern Africa and elsewhere to construct a model that will support the country’s national development agenda?†The research sites for this study were academic libraries subscribing to the Zimbabwe University Library Consortium (ZULC) and the College and Research Library Consortia (CARLC). The researcher selected 10 members from the ZULC and five members from the CARLC as research sites. The lessons drawn from other countries were used as the basis for developing a library consortia model for Zimbabwe. Lessons on library consortia developments with regard to experiences, challenges and opportunities have been drawn, and an integrated multifaceted model is suggested for Zimbabwe to develop a national consortium providing for nationwide access. The study recommends that there should be a special investigation into the establishment of the general consortium, involving representatives from public, school, and other special libraries. Developing and consolidating structures for connecting the library consortia are necessary to ensure the effective and successful operationalisation of the federated model.


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How to Cite

Chisita, C. T. (2017) “Developing a National Library Consortium in Zimbabwe: Lessons Learnt from Other Countries”, Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies, 35(1), pp. 155-179. doi: 10.25159/0027-2639/2448.



Received 2017-04-16
Accepted 2017-10-11
Published 2017-12-11