This article uses the case study of developing a collaborative “out-of-hours” virtual enquiry service by members of the Northern Collaboration Group of academic libraries in the north of England to explore the importance of communication and collaboration between academic library services in enhancing student learning. Set within the context of a rapidly changing UK higher education sector the article considers the benefits and challenges of collaboration and the contribution of library services to the student experience. The project demonstrated clear benefits to student learning and evidence of value for money to individual institutions as well as showing commitment to national shared services agendas. Effective communication with students, with colleagues and stakeholders in our own and other Northern Collaboration member institutions, and with OCLC, our partner organization, was a critical success factor in the development, promotion, and uptake of the new service.
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