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In 2013, the Alliance's Assessment Team was charged to update the NWCCU accreditation standards statement on the Alliance website. The following brief and extended statements are excerpted from the Assessment Team's 2013 August report to the Board of Directors

Brief Statement :  Standardized Brief Description of Orbis Cascade Alliance to be Used in Self-Study Accreditation Documents

Insert library name here extends its local collections and services through membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance (Alliance), a consortium of public and private academic libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. A key value of this membership is that it allows the academic community at insert institution”s name access to the collections of other Alliance member libraries. By viewing member collections in aggregate as ‘one collection’ Alliance members can strategically and collaboratively focus on ways in which to create user-centered collections that maximize use and minimize cost and space. Additionally member libraries use collaborative strategies to negotiate database subscriptions and acquisitions of e-books. The Alliance is nationally recognized for its innovative cost-saving acquisitions strategies. In recent years, Alliance members have focused increasingly on ways in which to increase the depth and quality of collaborative efforts. Most notably, Alliance members are moving to a shared library system (catalog), thus allowing members to share a number of costs and processes. Library staff at Insert institution name contribute to these efforts and this work raises the quality of local services, maximizes expenditures, and allows insert name to leverage the expertise of the Alliance”s diverse membership. Alliance membership directly supports the core theme of insert language tying Alliance membership to core theme

Evidence:

Orbis Cascade Alliance: WebsiteStrategic AgendaMembers 



Extended : Standardized Extended Description of Orbis Cascade Alliance to be Used in Self-Study Accreditation Documents

The Orbis Cascade Alliance (Alliance) is a consortium academic libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. It includes public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities (37 as of Spring of 2013). The Alliance was created in 2003 through the merger of two strong regional consortia (Orbis and Cascade). It demonstrates power, influence, and extraordinary benefit to its constituents through the provision of innovative collaboration among its diverse constituency. The merger”s effect on the consortium”s capacity for service was clear from the beginning and continues to expand. These benefits include a shared catalog (Summit), patron-initiated borrowing, fast and reliable delivery services, electronic resource purchasing, professional development of staff, and participation in new service initiatives. The Alliance continues to emphasize collaboration and cooperation between its members and to that end, the consortia is pursuing an innovative Shared Integrated Library System that will increase discoverability and access to scholarly materials for its members.

 A key value of membership in the Alliance is to make available to the students and faculty of [institution name] a shared catalog of books, periodicals, and other formats in a single discovery platform. The Summit Catalog (Summit) is comprised of 9.2 million titles representing 28.7 million items across its 37 libraries. [Institution name] students may borrow materials directly from this vast collection with an average delivery time of two days. In total, consortia services support over 258,000 students in three states, across both public and private colleges and universities. 

[Institution name”s] membership in the Alliance represents a commitment to providing resources that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain for its students and faculty in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition to Summit borrowing, consortial purchases of electronic resources enable [Institution name] to provide collections and resources directly to our faculty and students. These electronic resources include research databases, full-text journals and monographs. Group purchases of databases, ejournals, and ebooks support teaching and research and add additional access valued at $12 million annually. 

Alliance agreements emphasize the responsibility of each member institution to contribute to the robustness of the combined collection. Alliance membership leverages the capacity of each individual partner, greatly enriching, but not substituting for, local collections. (Institution name) retains full authority and control to select materials needed to support its own academic programs. Opportunities for enhancing cooperative collection development strengthen the individual, as well as the collective, collections.

 Indeed, the strong commitment of diverse and independent member institutions forms the foundation of the Orbis Cascade Alliance”s success. This commitment is evident in many forms, including the creation of long-term resource sharing agreements, the empowerment of students and faculty to directly borrow materials in many formats, the willingness to engage in the work of governing a consortium and the recurring allocation of significant financial and human resources.