The Consortium of Tanzania University and Research Libraries (COTUL) is a formal association of academic and research institutions for the purpose of engaging in joint information provision activities particularly; Acquisition of electronic information sources, Research, Training, Consultancy and others deemed critical in the attainment of academic excellence in learning, teaching and research in academic institutions.
The strategic plan sets the consortium’s key objectives within a planning framework that will run from 2011 to 2015. It determines the overall goal, objectives, strategies and activities to achieve the objectives. Generally the strategic plan identifies where COTUL wants to be by end of 2015 and how it is going to get there. COTUL’s 2015 vision is to be an indispensable association in electronic information provision environment. However, an effective and efficient consortium is dependent on achievable objectives, parent institutional support, regional support, development partners’ support and above all, member’s commitment to the course and strong leadership. In a nutshell, a functional consortium is very much dependant on conducive internal and external environments.
COTUL aspire to be centers of excellence in supporting learning, teaching and research by facilitating availability of relevant and current research collections in different formats.
COTUL objectives seek to achieve the following:
Develop research collections, excellence in meeting information needs across all disciplines and supporting dissemination and access to local knowledge collections. However, due to global economic trends, individual libraries fall short in meeting all information needs of clients.
To address the shortage, COTUL members agree to jointly pull their resource together and a acquire research materials to satisfy the research community in the country
COTUL focuses on the following functions:
• Jointly acquiring e-resources by contributing funds basing on agreed formula depending on the size of the institution,
• Promotion of local content preservation, archival, dissemination and management using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS),
• Forging partnership with key organizations whose mission is to support research both at local such as COSTECH, TERNET and international such as INASPs, EIFL etc and
• Carrying out conferences, workshops, trainings by sharing knowledge on new development in the the information profession such as , Open Access, Free and Open Access Software FOSS, The use of Web 2.0 in research, Information Searching Techniques etc