About & Background

About the Partnership

The Partnership for Shared Book Collections grew out of Summit meetings hosted by EAST in April and December of 2018 which included representatives from the current monograph shared print programs in the U.S. and Canada as well as other thought leaders and experts in preservation and scholarly communications. The Partnership is a federation of these programs with the goal of coordinating collaboration across the programs to support cost-effective retention of and access to print book collections with the goal of ensuring the long-term preservation, accessibility and integrity of these scholarly print resources.

The member programs have already committed to retain over 40 million books (and growing!) primarily in academic and research libraries across the United States and Canada and make these materials available for scholarship, research, and teaching through inter-library loan and other forms of resource sharing. Throughout 2019 a recently formed Steering Committee as well as Working Groups formed at the December, 2018 Summit will be working to further the organizational development of the Partnership.  The Working Groups will focus on defining the business model, services, membership and governance of the Partnership and hope to formalize the Partnership in early 2020.

See also the January 23, 2019 Partnership Press Release.

Background

Academic and research libraries (along with some research oriented public libraries) have collaborated for some time to preserve the print scholarly record, so as to ensure the efficient and effective care of physical library resources while making sure users have access to their materials. 

Preservation and storage facilities such as the Research Collections and Preservation Service (ReCAP), large scale digitization and preservation initiatives such as HathiTrust, and programs such as EAST have all focused on long-term retention of books while ensuring they are accessible for scholars, faculty and students.  More recently, alliances of consortial shared print programs, such as the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance, which is focused on archiving print serials and journals for scholarship, are beginning to be formed to strengthen this commitment thus ensuring print scholarship remains accessible for scholars in this digital age.   The vision for the Partnership is a logical outgrowth of these efforts and aims to unify efforts across programs, projects, and initiatives in the U.S. and Canada already involved in monograph shared print as well as encourage the expansion of such initiatives to further protect the cultural and scholarly print record.