The Florida SHARES project is designed to fulfill the following needs:
Need to Enable E Book Sharing
Currently, the public academic libraries in Florida do not have a way to share ebooks and audiobooks between institutions. A growing percentage of the materials acquisition budgets of libraries is transitioning from physical material purchases to e-resource purchases and subscriptions. Without a new mechanism to share ebooks and audio books, students and faculty across the state will begin losing access to the resources they need and depend upon from Florida's institutions.
Need to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness of Interlibrary Material Delivery
While interlibrary loan processes are in place to lend/borrow physical books and journal articles, interlibrary loan of electronic collections are mostly non-existent between institutions. Interlibrary loan of physical materials is useful to students and faculty researchers, however the time (5 days or more to processes and deliver physical items); as well as the associated expense (($10 to $30 per item in labor and delivery cost) can be inefficient and costly.
Need to Increase Usage of Library Materials
Library physical and electronic collections at individual institutions often experience good usage, however circulation of e-resources can be increased dramatically if easier and broader access is provided to larger numbers of potential users.
Need to Collaborate on Collection Development
Many of the Colleges and Universities offer similar degree programs such as AA, AS, as well as undergraduate bachelor degrees in common areas such as Education, Business, Health Sciences, etc. Additionally, state requirements for select programs as well as accrediting agency standard requirements call for libraries to offer many similar content collections to support programs. By sharing "collaboratively developed collections", libraries can more efficiently offer users access to current materials.
Need Improved Support for Online Learners
Many institutions currently serve substantial numbers of online learners. Many of these online learners do not live close to the local institution's campus or physical facilities and cannot take advantage of local physical resources. This project (over time) will increase shared access to online resources that may not be currently available to students and faculty in online environments.
Need to Improve Assessment of Resource Use and Funding
The Florida SHARES platform generates detailed descriptive usage and collection reports. Summary data is currently listed on the Assessment tab of this guide, and plans are to make the level of report options more automated and expansive over time.