PAN Updates on Shared Print at ALA Annual Meeting

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Marie Waltz -

The PAN meeting, an open venue promoted by CRL for libraries and consortia to share information, expertise, and best practices for the cooperative management of print collections, was held on June 21, preceding as usual the ALA annual conference. Approximately 100 attendees heard updates on various shared print initiatives. The PAN discussions were followed by a meeting of the Partnership for Shared Book Collections.

New Shared Print Programs

Two new shared print initiatives were introduced to the PAN community: the South Asia Cooperative Collection Development Workshops (SACOOP), and the University of North Carolina's Shared Print Initiative.

Judy Alspach from CRL presented on behalf of the South Asia Cooperative Collection Development (SACOOP) Print Retention Initiative. SACOOP focuses on retention of South Asian research collections. In 2018, many SACOOP members signed a Statement on Print Retention, aiming at bringing attention to rare foreign‐language materials when establishing future shared print collections. To further the effort, this year SACOOP introduced an agreement for libraries to share retention responsibilities for specified South Asian studies material for 25 years.

The University of North Carolina Shared Print Initiative submitted an update for the first time since beginning their work in September 2018. Thirteen UNC libraries are in the planning stages of creating an infrastructure for long-term preservation of monographs in a shared collection. A steering committee of collection librarians from the 13 libraries and the University Libraries Advisory Council (ULAC) will meet in September 2019 to reach agreement on a retention model and MOU terms. Their work is funded by a $100,000 LSTA grant from the State Library of North Carolina.

Decision Making in Shared Print

Three presentations focused on decision making strategies for shared print programs.

  • Allison Wohlers presented on the WEST biannual assessment. The assessment includes a member survey and focus groups to expand on topics in the survey. WEST asked members about deselection, suggestions for what to archive, the fee structure, and how to give more value to members. Results of the assessment will be available later this year.
  • Matthew Revitt presented on Maine Shared Collections (MSC) program decision making. MSC includes both academic and public libraries. Because it is not a strictly academic or public collection, collection building is different than in an academic-only shared print program. Public libraries are driven more by access considerations than academic libraries. Since public libraries emphasize usage, circulation is weighted more heaviliy in MSC retention rules. Revitt added that public libraries bring unique materials not held by academic libraries.
  • Mary Miller of the University of Minnesota offered PAN attendees insights into evaluating a shared print program before joining. She distilled these to seven principles, which were:
    • Strong member level support, both financial and participation
    • A strong MOU
    • A well-defined and documented collection scope
    • Clearly articulated and measurable program benefits
    • Understandable and acceptable long-term commitments
    • Commitments consistent with the library's existing shared print commitments
    • Provisions for Access

Collections News

Most of the updates from shared print programs included news on their collection building. COPPUL SPAN reported it is moving into Phase 5, where all twenty of its members will retain rare and less widely held Canadiana serials. HathiTrust completed Phase 2 of their shared print monograph program. In this phase they used SCS to identify print holdings that did not have retention commitments. The Michigan Shared Print Initiative (Mi-SPI) is embarking on MI-SPI 2.0 with new participants for SCS analysis. The Rosemont Shared Print Alliance has set a goal to add 100,000 titles to their collective collections by 2021.


As always, technology is an important part of the shared print infrastructure. ASERL's Collaborative Federal Depository Library Program (CFDP) reported that their data is easily exported from the ASERL Documents Disposition Database to FDLP's new eXchanges database. This means that CFDP participants can participate in a national effort to improve gap-filling of federal publication holdings with minimal effort. HathiTrust is working on a new process for updating their shared print program registry. Keep@Downsview plans to install an Internet Archive scanning station in their facility. ReCAP is reviewing their middleware, Shared Collections Service Bus (SCSB), in order to plan the next phase of development. CRL reported that it has made several enhancements to the PAPR repository as part of an OCLC/Mellon Grant, which includes improvements for hosting data on archived electronic serials.

Find all the presentations, news, and collection updates on the PAN event page.

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