Twinning libraries

The library of the Technische Universität München (TUM) has recently twinned itself with Thammasat University Library in Thailand. It provides a link to the Library Twinning Declaration from its home page:

Thammasat University Thailand and Technische Universität München

Modern academic libraries have a central role in providing information for study and research in a world that is evolving from an information society model towards a communication society of sharing and interaction.

Cooperation and support are cornerstones of the efficient development of standards and best practice.

In the spirit of a global professional fellowship, Thammasat University Thailand and Technische Universität München are proud to announce a special alliance of both their university libraries.

In the context of this library twinning declaration TUT and TUM library are committed to

  • furthering friendship and understanding by dialogue between their staffs
  • sharing knowledge and experience for the benefit of their patrons
  • The library managements involved want to encourage among their members of staff

  • a mutual interest and understanding of the working environment of each other‘s libraries
  • a mutual concern for the improvement of each other‘s services
  • an exchange of correspondence and information to enhance the professional activities of each other‘s libraries
  • We believe such a formal relationship would be beneficial to the libraries, their staffs and patrons and facilitate the exchange of professional information and programmes between the two libraries.

    Together we want to address common issues to improve the local knowledge infrastructure and be a part of the cutting edge of library service development.

    By this declaration the libraries of Thammasat University Thailand and Technische Universität München evidence their mutual willingness to give their full support to a thriving and efficient cooperation.

    On behalf of the libraries

    Ms Srichan Chancheewa
    Director Thammasat University Libraries

    Reiner Kallenborn
    TUM University Librarian

    TUM Library has similar relationships with Nanyang Technological University Library, Singapore, and Dublin City University.

    When I worked at Edinburgh University Library, it partnered with Johns Hopkins University in a similar spirit of mutual cooperation, under a Partnership Agreement. The two libraries also expressed a wish for staff exchanges and saw each other as ‘preferred partners’ for bids to grant-awarding bodies. Such agreements can be useful, though can also be subject to the vagaries of changing senior personnel at the twinned institutions (and so can evaporate when the parents of the twins leave or move on). I’d be interested to know of twin arrangements which have created significant value which survives to new generations of library managements. In particular, how do the twins progress their mutual concern for the improvement of each other’s services, and is there any sharing of infrastructure to advance this? As we consider the appropriateness of particular scales for particular objectives, twins are the smallest-scale consortia that can exist. Are there benefits to that, and what are they? And is a library which is twinned with three different partners in different countries effectively in an international consortium of four?