Librarians in Nigeria have recently seen the need to jointly come out with write-ups in areas of common interest in a bid to contribute to knowledge. So many a time, writing singly could pose certain difficulties and so, joint authorship or what is called ‘collaboration’ has become a new practice among librarians. Wikipedia defines collaboration as ‘working together to achieve a goal’. Collaboration is all about networking and productive partnership.
Rosabeth Moss Kantor in 1990 described productive partnerships as those which evolve and continue nevertheless to yield benefits, create new value and work through interpersonal connections and internal infrastructures which enhance learning. She identifies eight characteristics of best partnerships:
- each partner contributes something of value;
- the strategic objectives of all partners are addressed;
- partners have complementary skills and assets;
- each partner makes an investment in the other (as distinct from a contractual relationship, in which there is no such mutual investment);
- communication is reasonably open;
- mechanisms for smooth working together are in place;
- each partner becomes both teacher and learner;
- there is integrity and mutual trust.