NISO Awarded IMLS Grant for Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO), the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), and Lehigh University Libraries, along with 27 other partner organizations, have been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project (CCLP). The CCLP will create a suite of best practices, improve standards, and prototype middleware infrastructure for the development and management of cooperative collections development. It aims to enable the efficient acquisition of collections and the sharing of those collections, along with related services, by developing a framework that libraries and consortia can use to share expertise, data, and collections to efficiently steward limited resources in serving library patrons.

Networks of libraries have a long tradition of working together to expand their resources and provide more complete coverage through sharing of resources. A variety of models have been developed over the years and, more recently, larger networks of institutions have explored wider adoption of cooperative collections management. However, a number of infrastructure barriers to wider implementation remain, which CCLP seeks to address; they include a lack of interoperable systems and data exchange, governance and decision-making frameworks, and measurement and assessment tools. Improving this strategic infrastructure will particularly benefit libraries and their constituencies with historically underrepresented and underserved communities, as well as those with less-resourced collections budgets. It will enable a greater degree of collaboration, empowerment, and access to shared and unique local resources.

CCLP’s deliverables include: convening a Collaborative Collections Community for the development of a shared vision and infrastructure needs; development of a community-based governance structure and project plan; identification of existing standards to support open data sharing across organizations, and creation of new ones; and development of interoperable, open source software middleware and applications based on this open standards architecture, to support the flow of data and information about disparate library collections.

“We are very grateful to IMLS for their support of the Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO’s Executive Director. “NISO has a deep commitment to bringing diverse stakeholders in the information community together to solve shared problems. IMLS’s funding of CCLP will help our community take an important step toward building the infrastructure needed to support a cooperative, collaborative, and equitable approach to resource-sharing between libraries.”

Boaz Nadav Manes, Lehigh’s University Librarian and CCLP initiative lead said, “We are extremely excited about IMLS’s generous support of this project. We thank our partners NISO and PALCI, as well as other consortia, providers, publishers, individual libraries, and contributors, for their leadership and in-kind assistance in realizing together innovative ways, by which collaborative visions and strategies can finally meet daily operational realities in the area of prospective collection building.” 

Jill Morris, PALCI Executive Director added, “Today's higher education ecosystem makes collaboration in libraries more essential than ever in serving our communities, and consortia need the tools and infrastructure described in this project plan to collaborate efficiently cross diverse institutions. We are proud to bring PALCI’s scale, expertise, and strategic focus on innovation in partnering on this initiative, as it promises to address the long-standing challenges we face, and will ultimately improve our ability to be highly effective stewards of shared resources.”

For more information about the Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project, please visit the project website. Additionally, a project briefing on the CCLP was given at the CNI conference last December, and a video of that presentation is available on CNI’s YouTube channel. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services LG-252384-OLS-22.

About NISO

Based in Baltimore, MD, NISO’s mission is to build knowledge, foster discussion, and advance authoritative standards development through collaboration among the cultural, scholarly, scientific, and professional communities. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages with libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a nonprofit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website ( or contact us at


PALCI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization, which originated in 1996 as the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc., a grassroots federation of 35 academic libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Known today as the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration and Innovation, the PALCI membership now consists of more than 70 academic and research libraries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia. PALCI’s mission is to enable cost-effective and sustainable access to information resources and services for academic libraries in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. PALCI is well known for its highly-regarded EZBorrow consortial ILL service. PALCI members partner to serve over 800,000 students, faculty, and staff, with a particular focus on collaborative collections programs, resource sharing services, and innovative technology projects and approaches to library services. For more information contact or visit

About Lehigh University Libraries

Lehigh University Libraries is a private research library located in Bethlehem, PA and is at the center of intellectual life on the Lehigh University campus. Lehigh Libraries are committed to support our global and local communities with learning, teaching, and research, and to connect our talented and expert proffesionals and wide-ranging resources to assist with individual learning needs. Lehigh Libraries partner to create welcoming spaces and innovative shared infrastructures to foster just, equitable, and inclusive communities. For more information contact or visit



Todd Carpenter

Executive Director
Todd Carpenter joined NISO as Executive Director in September 2006. ...