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Book Chapter

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This chapter discusses the distributed, volunteer nature of an information delivery cooperative which became formally designated as the IDS Project and how a “coalition of the willing” has been able to move the resource sharing community forward on a national scale through innovations in training, support, and technology. The authors use a case study approach to highlight some of the major accomplishments of the IDS Project, such as the Article Licensing Information Availability Service (ALIAS), IDS Search, the Mentor Program, and the Regional Users Groups. The team-based structure of the IDS Project allows for groups to work independently and from multiple locations while still creating a synergistic result through the combination of community and innovation. Distributed teams often provide enriched user skills for the group but often cause difficulties due to the distance, communication, and differing requirements of the different local institutions. The IDS Project’s use of technology and periodic face-to-face meetings has reduced the issues with distributed teams and created highly effective working groups. These groups, such as the mentors and the Technology Development Team, have provided excellent service and training to the member libraries. Through the use of the Best Practices Toolkit, the Getting It System Toolkit, ILLiad Addons produced by IDS, and other national services, the IDS Project has made it possible for libraries that use ILLiad to benefit from its developments.



The final version of this chapter is published in Mergers and Alliances: The Wider View (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 36) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.281 - 312. It is also available through the publisher's website here:

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