What is VIVA?
The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) is the consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Members include all of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (the 6 doctoral universities, 9 4-year institutions, and 24 community and two-year branch colleges), as well as 32 of the independent (private, nonprofit) institutions and the Library of Virginia.
VIVA's mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative and cost-effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia's nonprofit academic libraries serving the higher education community.
What does VIVA do?
The Virtual Library of Virginia contributes to the excellence of higher education in Virginia through
- Enhanced support of resource sharing of Virginia's exceptional print and microform collections.
- Shared access to online library resources and improved coordination of collection development throughout VIVA.
- Educational and training opportunities for member libraries.
How does Virginia benefit from VIVA?
Virginia benefits academically.
- Enhances learning and "levels the academic playing field" for Virginia students by providing equal access to high-quality electronic resources to students at all member institutions and by facilitating interlibrary loans throughout the state.
- Provides over 350,000 Virginia students with 24/7 access to tens of thousands of electronic books and journals, hundreds of research databases, and a wealth of academic and professional working papers, proceedings, and transactions, all covering subject areas from science, medicine, and technology to the arts and humanities.
- Speeds information delivery between libraries by providing software, equipment, and support to interlibrary lending.
Virginia benefits financially.
- Brings $5 of value for every $1 spent. VIVA's cooperative purchasing of resources, sometimes for as little as 8% list price for individual institutional, has resulted in more than $500 million in cost avoidance for the Commonwealth.
- Improves faculty and staff productivity through improved intermural access to the vast collections of Virginia's academic libraries.
- Saves institutional money and staff time by avoiding duplication of collections.
- Utilizes technology throughout the state to avoid duplication of efforts by individual institutions.
Virginia benefits every day.
VIVA operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). As described in the Organizational Plan, VIVA is headed by a Steering Committee comprising 14 members representing the member institutions:
- All 6 public doctoral institutions have standing representation on the Steering Committee.
- Three representatives are elected from among the 9 public 4-year colleges and Richard Bland College (a 2-year college).
- The private, nonprofit colleges elect 1 representative.
- The 23 members of the Virginia Community College System have 2 representatives appointed by the VCCS Chancellor.
- In addition, the chairperson of the SCHEV Library Advisory Committee and any chairs of other VIVA standing committees will serve on the VIVA Steering Committee as ex officio voting members.
- The VIVA Director serves as a non-voting ex officio member.
The Steering Committee is supported by three additional standing committees, also comprising members selected from the member institutions. Special adhoc committees are convened as needed.
Operational responsibility for VIVA is conducted by the VIVA staff, currently the Director, Associate Director for Technology Support, and Executive Assistant.
Budget and Funding
VIVA is funded through support from the Virginia General Assembly, augmented by the local institutional library budgets. Funding is allocated to VIVA by the General Assembly on a biennial basis.
Total funding for the 2012-13 year is estimated to be approximately $15.5 million, of which $7.4 million (48%) is from the commonwealth budget, an estimated $5.6 million (36%) will come from the public institutions and an estimated $2.5 million (16%) will come from the participating private, nonprofit members.
Complete information about the VIVA budget is available here.
VIVA history can be found in the Guide to the Virtual Library of Virginia records, 1994-2004, a Finding Aid to the collection located at George Mason University, Special Collections and Archives. This collection contains documents and correspondence from the development and operations of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium from its founding onward as documented by Kathy Perry, the Director of VIVA.
You can also look at pictures and presentations from ¡VIVA VIVA! 1994-2004:
Celebrating Ten Years of Service to Virginia's Nonprofit Colleges and Universities.