Five College Librarians' Council Strategic Framework

The Five College Librarians Council (FCLC) mission is to provide leadership and develop collaborative efforts to improve access to information resources for the Five College community. FCLC oversees the Five College Depository, a shared automated library system, and consortial direct borrowing arrangement. FCLC coordinates the work of Five College library committees and task forces, and manages the Five College Library Budget, in support of shared strategic goals:

  •  Provide unified access to library systems that are integrated and accessible.

  •  Actively steward digital resources consistent with national and international efforts.

  •  Reduce the cost of scholarly information and promote open access.

  •  Expand shared uniform access to electronic resources.

  •  Manage less commonly used materials.

  •  Expand the accessibility of physical and electronic resources.


The FCLC operates on the belief that collaborative work can enhance our service to our communities and seeks collaborative solutions that attract grant funding and further national conversations. To foster collaborative work, the FCLC promotes formal and informal communities of practice in which participants share information, foster innovative ideas for library services, share best practices and encourage professional development opportunities for library staff. Representatives from each of the schools have been appointed to provide leadership to  committees, task forces, and working groups.

Council Members

  • Bryn Geffert, Librarian of the College, Amherst College
  • Jennifer Gunter King, Director of Library, Hampshire College
  • Alex Wirth-Cauchon, Interim Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, LITS, Mount Holyoke College
  • Christopher Loring, Director of Libraries, Smith College
  • Jay Schafer, Director of Libraries, UMass Amherst
  • Neal B. Abraham, Executive Director, Five Colleges, Incorporated


Recent Projects

Depository Conference. On July 21, 2011, the Librarians Council hosted a conference for New England and other regional library directors to discuss the need for a Northeaast Regional Depository (NERD), and the possibility that the Five College Library Depository might be expanded to fill that need. View the summary of the meeting (PDF file) and a presentation by Lizanne Payne, invited speaker at the conference (.pptx file).

Collaboration on E-Resources. Currently the FCLC is exploring the effective management of e-resources within the consortium, and has assigned a task force to evaluate a Discovery Service for the Five College libraries. A grant from the Davis Educational Foundation funded an investigation and two reports (Phase 1 and Phase 2) on these issues from R2 Consulting, LLC, including a number of other recommendations which are now under consideration.

Library Depository. In 1951 the Librarians founded the Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC), one of the oldest library consortia in the country, to acquire and maintain a specialized, shared collection of journals and reference material. This project continues in the form of the Five College Library Depository today. Housing single, deduplicated print copies of scholarly journal backfiles (many now available full-text online) and little-used books, the Depository collection allows the libraries to maintain shared access for our patrons while freeing up library space at each institution for more current uses. A possible expansion of Depository storage space is currently being explored.

Archives Projects. Two projects have increased access to the extensive and unique archives, manuscripts and special collections in the Five Colleges, both with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Five College Archives Digital Access Project began digitizing collections relating to women's history and education, while the Five College Finding Aids Project created a searchable database of finding aids for archives and manuscript collections. A Digital Preservation study is currently underway.