Twice daily deliveries of materials among the Tri-Colleges provide each student and faculty member with anything they need from the joint collection within twenty-four hours.
No library can supply all the publications its readers might want. The recognition of this fact, and a desire to make as great a range of materials available as possible, has led in the last 125 years to programs for resource sharing and among libraries. Changing cultural expectations about information use, together with vastly improved means for sharing information about collections, today enable ambitious cooperative approaches to collection building and management.
Cooperation on collections is a cornerstone of Haverford’s library program. A close relationship with Bryn Mawr has existed since the early 1970s. Haverford partners today with both Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore in acquiring electronic resources, shaping journal collections, and selecting a substantial portion of the book collection. Over the years the three libraries have bought expensive items together and developed complementary areas of strength. Haverford has also entered into such resource-sharing partnerships as the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc. (PALCI) and participates extensively in interlibrary borrowing and lending.
As all libraries become less independent and more aware of their role as nodes in networks of resources, local collecting emphases turn each library into a go-to place for certain resources. In Haverford’s case, curricular emphasis on such areas as photography, eastern religions and mysticism, and early modern European history, not to mention Quaker and related historical materials, has created important regional resource collections.