Best Practices for Starting A Shared Print Program

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A shared print program (SPP) is a joint effort by libraries to house, manage, and provide access to their collective physical collections, usually collections of monographs and/or serials. The goal of shared print programs is to preserve and provide access to the scholarly record in its original print form, typically a predetermined number of unique items, such as specific editions of books and complete runs of journals. For groups of libraries and consortia considering starting a shared print program for print books, print journals, and/or other materials there are a variety of factors to consider and decisions to make. While every new SPP is different and situations will vary, this document will provide recommendations and information resources to utilize during the start-up process.

Best Practices

An entity considering starting a new SPP should:

If you have determined that a new program is not necessary, and you would like to join an existing program whose goals align with your proposed goals, consult Communications & Advocacy: Introduction to Shared Print, Starting or Joining a Shared Print Program: Joining an Existing Shared Print Program, and Best Practices for Community and Trust Building.

If you decide to start a new shared print program, you should

Once your shared print program is operational, you can use the Partnership’s Best Practices Assessment Tools to assess it.

1Bogus, Ian, Candace Arai Yano, Shannon Zachary, Jacob Nadal, Mary Miller, Helen N. Levenson, Fern Brody, and Sara Amato.  “A Model to Determine Optimal Numbers of Monograph Copies for Preservation in Shared Print Collections.”  College & Research Libraries V.84, no. 5 (2023):767- doi: .

Last Updated September 2023