Abstract: The conundrum of resource sharing in a Zimbabwe: The case of academic libraries

Dr. Collence Chisita & Prof. Dr. Madeleine Fombad; University of South Africa (Zimbabwe/South Africa)

Resource sharing has gained impetus among academic libraries as they seek novel and innovative ways to provide for the dynamic and complex needs of users. Zimbabwe is not an exception to the global trend of resource sharing in support of teaching, learning and research as evidenced by the establishment of sector specific library consortia. This article  explores the challenges and opportunities encountered by academic libraries in their endeavour to provide quality services. It will examine how library consortia namely; The Zimbabwe University Library Consortia (ZULC) and the College and Research Libraries of Zimbabwe (CARLC) have been able to provide for the information needs of their users at a time  when budgets are low or inadequate yet subscription costs to journals remain unaffordable. The article will examine the extent to which library consortia are exploiting Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and trendy initiatives, for example, Open Access (OA). It will also examine how academic library through resource sharing platforms have been able to exploit ubiquitous technologies  and build on from the traditional Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The article will recommend a strategy based on a model to strengthen nationwide access to scholarship through resource sharing.

Keywords: resource sharing; library cooperation; open access; institutional repositories and networking