June 24, 2008
Caroline J. Hanna
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. — The board of directors for the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), the preeminent association of 19 academic and research libraries located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, has unanimously voted to accept Amherst College as its newest member.

Membership in the organization will allow Amherst faculty, staff and students to gain access to and borrow in person from the consortium’s affiliate libraries. In addition to sharing—and quickly shipping—interlibrary loan materials, the group’s members lend one another videos, CDs, DVDs, microform, dissertations, theses and other normally non-circulating material. 

Membership with the BLC also enables the college to participate in the organization’s recently announced partnership with the Open Content Alliance (www.opencontentalliance.org), an association of cultural, technology, nonprofit and governmental organizations building a freely accessible library of digital materials from its member institutions. The partnership will provide Amherst’s library with the infrastructure for undertaking the high-resolution digitization of its unique and public domain materials in an extremely cost-effective way.

“BLC membership not only expands the information resources available to faculty, staff and students—it also positions the college to do more to make Amherst’s own rich collections available to the broader scholarly community,” said Sherre Harrington, librarian of the college. “We are really thrilled to be a part of this consortium.”

According to its Web site, the BLC is dedicated to sharing human and information resources to advance the research and learning of its constituency. Founded in 1970, the consortium supports resource-sharing and enhancement of services to users through programs in cooperative collecting, access to electronic resources and physical collections and enhanced interlibrary loan and document delivery. Other BLC members include Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, MIT, Northeastern, Tufts, the University of Connecticut, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of New Hampshire, Wellesley and Williams.