Zimbabwean Academic Libraries — Success through Cooperation and Collaboration

Keywords: cooperation, collaboration, interorganisational cooperation, parabiosis, resource sharing


Library cooperation and collaboration have become the key to the success of academic libraries in their endeavour to provide for the dynamic and diverse needs of users. The future trajectory of library development will require innovative and flexible strategies for cooperation transcending time and space. This article examines the challenges and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among Zimbabwe’s library consortia. The study used a case study approach in assessing challenges and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among academic libraries in Zimbabwe. The key research questions steering the study are “What are the main reasons for joining the consortium?” and “How can academic libraries in Zimbabwe utilise cooperation and collaboration to improve service delivery?” The research sites for this study were academic libraries subscribing to the Zimbabwe University Library Consortium (ZULC) and the College and Research Library Consortium (CARLC). The researcher selected 10 members from the ZULC and 5 members from the CARLC as research sites. The researcher also reviewed literature on developments relating to library cooperation from other countries within and outside Africa. The study recommends library cooperation and collaboration among the different sectors of the library profession. It also recommends negotiations for an inclusive model for cooperation for all types of libraries to avoid the pitfalls of separate development and to strengthen the library system in Zimbabwe.

Author Biography

Collence Takaingenhamo Chisita, University of South Africa

Principal Lecturer and Researcher based at the  University of Pretoria's Department of  Information Sciences.