So, the thing about cooperative collection development of electronic resources is this: libraries must be able to share some of those electronic resources in the same manner as they share print resources. Interlibrary loan must somehow encompass all manner of electronic collections. Publishers will scream bloody murder about this. They have a notion that this will mean libraries will be throwing the gates open to the world to use their publications without paying.
Many licenses for electronic journal packages explicitly forbid interlibrary loan. Some just fail to acknowledge it. Others allow it under the most ridiculous conditions: print out the PDF file, scan it, and send the scan or fax it. What a waste of time and money! Ebooks and ILL? Fagetaboutit! After some bad experiences with consortia in the past, publishers are now completely restrictive about their ebook licenses.
All this goes toward making true cooperative collection development of electronic resources nearly impossible. Publishers and vendors are happy to offer a discount for consortia, as long as everybody is buying the same thing and no sharing happens. We need to begin pushing them about this. They need to hear about it when we sign contracts, see them at conferences, and when they make sales visits.
Mini fantasy: libraries in a consortium are allowed to select materials in a specific subject area. The widest possible subject coverage is achieved across the consortium. Everyone has access to the indexing and abstracting of the total collection. If someone at my library wants something at another library, they can request it through ILL and get it delivered as a digital file. This holds true for ebooks too. It may be even more significant for ebooks. I would even be willing to allow the restriction that the borrowing library must already have a license for the platform in question.
Extra mini fantasy: actually, that previous mini fantasy makes me think that a patron driven collection is eventually the way to go. We have access to indexing and abstracting of EVERYTHING in the world. We only pay for what people actually USE. Some variation of this is possible for ebooks now. I think it should be the case for journals as well. Pay-per-use. Scary to some folks. Hard to budget for. Requires all kinds of new user education activities. Requires all kinds of different collection procedures. Maybe collection development as we know it disappears. Shiver!