The first agreement, obviously is the agreement to share currently owned materials (that is, to permit access to the holdings among partners), with protocols, limitations and priorities clearly spelt out. The agreement should provide for an independent administration of resource sharing but one which does not in any way adversely affect the goals and missions of the cooperating libraries.
Secondly, there should be agreement on acquisitions policies, both to ensure consistent development of holdings and to avoid redundancy when this is judged jointly to be unproductive.
Thirdly, there should be agreement on bibliographic control. The best way is standardisation, so that users of each cooperating library may have consistent means of accessing the catalogues and others. If standardisation is not feasible, then the second best option is the provision of adequate training for users and/or access to the local reference staff to provide aid in locating materials. Other necessary agreements may include loan periods, renewals, procedures for earlier return of materials if needed, payment for lost materials, etc.
Ultimately, effectiveness of resource sharing depends on the availability of an infrastructure including appropriate communications, technology and delivery mechanisms, The computer has been an extremely effective device for processing and locating materials conveniently, but an adequate infrastructure must be assured: consistent, reliable electric power and appropriately trained personnel are the essential requirements.