Benefits of SHARES Participation

In these tough economic times, every institution must look closely at the value derived from each expediture on external relationships. The SHARES Executive Group has prepared a SHARES Value Statement template (.doc: 61KB/4 pp.) to help you in making the case for continued affiliation with the OCLC Research Library Partnership and SHARES participation to your institution's administration.

SHARES participants enjoy these benefits:

  • Comprehensive, expedited access to partners' collections.

    "The benefits of SHARES membership are immeasurable. Close to 80% of our filled OCLC requests are supplied by our SHARES partners in a minimal amount of time and with great care, generosity and personal attention. This means less time spent on tracking requests, shipping issues and pleading for special loans. Trusted partners make all the difference! Our patrons are consistently amazed by the materials we are able to provide them with and that is due in large part to the dedicated SHARES community. Specifically, when requesting from our SHARES partners, we are much more likely to get extra research on an incorrect citation, rare items, large items or complete copies of non-circulating special items."
    —Getty Research Institute

    Read more SHARES partner testimonials.

  • Access to restricted, noncirculating, and special collections materials that partners would not normally lend.

    "We received a request to borrow a 2001 periodical this morning from a SHARES library to make copies for replacement pages. As long as this volume is on the shelf, we will loan. We would have declined the request if it had been placed by a library that is not a member of SHARES. When PUL is short-staffed, we are able to allow OCLC requests from SHARES libraries to transmit while deflecting all requests from libraries that are not members of SHARES."
    —Princeton University

    Read more SHARES partner testimonials.

  • Costs of interlibrary loan and document supply held to minimum through agreements to supply one another at fixed below-market prices.

    "We value the SHARES Program more than ever in these tough economic times as we are asked to do more with less."
    —Binghamton University

    Read more SHARES partner < href="/content/research/activities/shares/efficient.html">testimonials.

  • On-site access for one's constituency: partners give each other's visiting faculty and scholars the same degree of access to collections and services that they provide for their own communities.

    "On-site access to other SHARES libraries has long been valued by members of Temple's academic community. We have many graduate students and faculty who value being able to access Penn's Van Pelt Library on weekends, when members of the public are not normally allowed. Also many faculty value having access to such regional institutions as Princeton, Columbia, and NYU. On-site access to the rich resources of SHARES member libraries is something that we share with all new faculty and graduate students during their orientation. We at Temple University are very grateful for this resource."
    —Temple University

    Read more SHARES partner testimonials.

  • Collegiality, trust, mentoring, sharing expertise and going the extra mile.

    "We definitely go the extra mile for SHARES partners and really appreciate when that is reciprocated, which is most of the time. We pursue loans of unusual items with collection managers, loan larger quantities of material per transaction, arrange for expedited and/or other kinds of special shipping, give longer loan periods/renewals (& more renewals), etc. It's this kind of value-added service that can really make a difference on those challenging requests that seem to crop up more and more often these days."
    —Emory University

    Read more SHARES partner testimonials.

In addition, SHARES partners receive:

  • Quick turn-around time on requests.
  • Availability of hard-to-find items.
  • Consideration of each request without blanket restrictions.
  • Access to theses and dissertations.
  • Collegiality within the SHARES partnership.
  • Low and predictable pricing.
  • Trusted partners with whom SHARES participants get to interact.
  • Engagement with institutions such as NYPL that lend returnables almost exclusively to SHARES partners.
  • An OCLC Research Program Officer who coordinates many of the consortium's activities.
  • Accesss to expertise, career development and collaborative opportunities within the SHARES partnership.

Many SHARES participants offer these exclusive benefits to others in the SHARES partnership:
  • First priority lending.
  • Lending to only to SHARES partners when they are so short staffed that other requests must be deflected.
  • Multiple renewals.
  • Confirmation of questionable citations.
  • Personal attention, exceptions and special favors.
  • Permission to lend special collections.


We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.