Boston, MA – October 14, 2016 – The academic and research libraries of the Eastern Academic Scholars' Trust (EAST) meet today in Boston to celebrate the largest shared print monograph initiative to date. The institutional members of EAST have committed to retain over 6 million print monographs for an initial period of 15 years. These items represent scholarly content that might otherwise have been discarded as these libraries reconfigure and reclaim space to meet the needs of today's research and teaching institutions.
EAST partner institutions, currently numbering 48 from Maine to Maryland, have been supported in their work by funding from the Davis Educational Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Beginning in June of last year, the libraries began a large-scale collection analysis of their print monograph holdings, working with OCLC Sustainable Collection Services (SCS). This analysis, which relied heavily on GreenGlass, a decision-support application developed by SCS, compared overlap, uniqueness and usage across the collective shared collection of over 16 million holdings across the EAST retention partner libraries. In parallel to this work, EAST undertook a pioneering sample validation study to determine the likelihood that items in a member library's catalog are actually available to be borrowed by an EAST partner and are likely to be in usable condition. With a sample of 240,000 items, the study showed a 97% average availability rate across the participating libraries. This study is the largest of its kind and increases the confidence and trust that institutional stakeholders can have in such collaborative programs.
Laura Wood, Director of the Tisch Library at Tufts University and co-Principal Investigator on the Mellon Foundation grant, commented: "By collaborating on this large a regional scale, EAST is making a major contribution to protecting the scholarly record. This coordination creates unparalleled data for decision-making and enables new partnerships, strengthening the stewardship and preservation work of libraries. Understanding our collective collection and making informed, measured decisions about retention best ensure that we will be able to meet the needs of our faculty, students, and scholars even as our local print collections may shrink. EAST is all about the common collective and the common good – ensuring that the content will be available to all our members but in partnership, not isolation."
Rick Lugg, Executive Director, OCLC Sustainable Collection Services, added: "We recognized from the outset that EAST would be a seminal project for the academic library community, and very much wanted to contribute. Working with the EAST project team and members, we were able to utilize the Model Builder in GreenGlass to accelerate determination of a final retention model for EAST, resulting in the retention decision taking less than twelve months from kick-off to final allocations."
As EAST completes this major milestone, it continues the work of shared print: with set-aside funding from the initial grants as well as member fees, EAST is in discussion with other academic and research libraries across the Eastern regions and hopes to expand its membership over the next year. And, while the current focus has been on print monographs, EAST will be including serial and journal retention in its future work.
Libraries interested in joining EAST can contact Susan Stearns at email@example.com for further information.
The Eastern Academic Scholars' Trust [EAST], a major new shared print initiative, launched on July 1, 2015 with important grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Davis Educational Foundation. The 48 member libraries of EAST, across New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, are collaborating to retain agreed upon titles in their local circulating collections as well as make them available to lend to other EAST members, thereby ensuring continued access to the scholarly record of print monographs and journals.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.