Report on the PAN Forum June 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Marie Waltz -

In June 2018 the Print Archive Network (PAN) Forum brought together leading practitioners of shared print initiatives to exchange information, expertise, and best practices for the strategic management of print holdings. The agenda for the June 2018 meeting included a regional update from Canadian Programs and presentations on two topics, "Exploring Data from Print Archive Programs" and "Collaborations in Print Programs."

Research and data about and for print archiving is becoming more plentiful, enriching the shared print landscape. Equally interesting is the exploration of tools needed for shared print projects. The use of new technologies in collection analysis, discovery, delivery, data transfer, and other activities is an important area of investigation for shared print. Also of great interest, both at PAN and in the wider shared print community, was the EAST Summit on monographs. The meeting, held in April 2018, intended to advance national thinking on shared print monograph programs.


Presenting on data research was Dr. Rupert Schaab, Head of Liaison Librarians, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen. Dr. Schaab reported that shared print programs do not yet have the best catalog metadata to support evidence-based shared print decision making. Clustering bibliographic metadata would help but is difficult because the number of catalog records prevents collection managers from knowing the full extent and condition of holdings within and across collections. Using Jacob Burckhardt’s "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy" as an example, Dr. Schaab quantified the well-known problem of redundant catalog records at every FRBR level (manifestation, expression, and work). Dr. Schaab outlined the various problems causing duplicate records: improper use of identifiers, cataloging language, variations in description of key bibliographic elements, etc. He posed the question of whether we can cluster our metadata around the manifestation level. And if we do, how do we improve the availability of data elements important to shared print collection decision making, such as related copy, retention commitments, and condition information?

Shared print programs are finding that additional work is important for ensuring data accuracy. This was highlighted in a recent survey by ConnectNY. A survey of members found that retention commitments were not being consistently recorded in members' library systems. In some cases they were being recorded in the bib record, in others the item record, and one library was not recording them at all. ConnectNY members concluded that consistent records would ensure they were in accordance with modern best practices. They are moving ahead with harmonizing and updating retention statements.

Other research mentioned in June's updates includes CRL's study of NEH microfilm reel records, an update on CRL's catalog record de-duplication project, and MSCC's analysis of what is rare in their state. MSCC found that academic libraries tended to hold scarce titles reflecting the subject strength of the institution, while public libraries tend to collect local history, genealogical titles, and fiction with a local setting. Findings like these help programs understand where to look for at-risk content within their member libraries.


Susan Stearns of EAST presented on using Tableau, a data visualization tool. EAST's goal was to find a tool to analyze their holdings data, provided by CRL in spreadsheet form for EAST's Serials and Journals Working Group. The working group needed a tool with features similar to GreenGlass, which creates visualizations from spreadsheet data. EAST found that Tableau came close to matching GreenGlass. The tool could provide visualizations for different retention models for serials and journals. It could also be used as a central workspace by EAST libraries to download and review title and holdings information. EAST plans to continue using Tableau to visualize the data provided by CRL for a second group of holdings.

WRLC announced that all its members are moving to a new integrated library system. All WRLC members are moving from Sierra or Voyager to Ex Libris’ ALMA. The consolidation to one system allows WRLC members to share their records and use Alma's Analytic module for collection analysis.

OCUL does not have a shared print program but supports several shared print programs. They are building a next generation, shared library services platform that will fuse access with preservation for both print and digital content.

The EAST Monograph Summit

Susan Stearns reported on the EAST Monograph Shared Print Summit held April 5-6, 2018, in Boston, MA. One outcome of the meeting was the decision to establish a federation of the various shared print monograph programs. Committees were formed to study this and other topics of importance in shared print for monographs. A write-up of the Summit is available on the Summit website.

Short Subjects

The University of California’s Kathy Martinyak discussed changes at the UC's Regional Library Facilities (RLFs). They have decided to change the inventory systems at both RLF's to reclaim wasted space. The RLF's will be reorganized to a Harvard-style shelving arrangement to save space.

Jeff Kosokoff of Duke University introduced ideas on leveraging existing library workflows and processes to facilitate decisions on monograph retention. He suggested that shared print monograph programs could go beyond the standard model of building collection lists through analysis. Programs could instead consider their MOU as a means for members to commit to retentions at a smaller scale, identifying at-risk content through regular library work processes.


The retirement of two prominent people in shared print efforts was recognized at the PAN meeting. The first was Lizanne Payne, who retires from HathiTrust in January 2019. Kim Armstrong, after her presentation on the Rosemont Group, commended Lizanne for her many contributions to shared print. The second was Rick Lugg from SCS. Bob Kieft spoke of Rick's many accomplishments after his presentation on FPR. Further written comments from Bob Kieft and Matthew Revitt were added to the PAN archive.

PAN Archive

For more detail on the PAN Forum in New Orleans please visit the archive of this and past PAN forums to see the presentations and read program updates.