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Abstract

The Columbia and Cornell University Libraries’ partnership (2CUL) is now in its fifth year. Its composite acronym (2CUL), which condenses a doubling of the two participating libraries’ initial letters, summarizes both vision and mission: a broad integration of library activities in a number of areas – including collection development, acquisitions and cataloging, e-resources and digital management, and digital preservation, and reciprocal onsite use of collections. A key component of the partnership is 2CUL Technical Services Integration (TSI), an initiative funded by a generous three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to plan for the merger of technical services operations. The authors reported on the first phase of this project last year in this forum (Kate Harcourt and Jim LeBlanc, “Planning from the Middle Out: Phase 1 of 2CUL Technical Services Integration,” Collaborative Librarianship 6:1 (2014)). In this paper, they draw on the existing literature on collaboration, both within libraries and beyond, to report and reflect on the second phase of the TSI project and, in particular, the decision to reconceive TSI as an evolving set of mutually beneficial initiatives rather than a more comprehensive administrative integration of technical services operations. The period covered in this article is December 2013-December 2014.

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