Collection Scope of Shared Collections

Collection scope takes into account risks of condition, validation, and loss; that the needs of scholarship encourage retaining more copies than foreseeable demand might suggest as a minimum; and that the collection needs to grow by including voluntary commitments, by involving libraries not now in consortia with shared print programs, by making commitments for materials that libraries do not typically archive, and by defining a horizon against which to measure progress on the number of titles and volumes collectively managed. 

Best Practice

A scope statement for a trusted shared print program that meets the long-term needs of readers, scholars, and students should:  

  1. define the body of material to be protected in order of priority and number of copies;
  2. establish a protocol for identifying and encouraging the retention of volumes that manifest desirable copy-specific characteristics, irrespective of the number of copies already retained;
  3. bring more volumes under protection through voluntary commitments and orderly targeting of bodies of material;
  4. set chronological and numerical goals for protecting volumes;
  5. agree on group as well as individual library responsibility in order to make transferring of bibliographic commitments and physical volumes possible, and formalizes a national or continental safety-net for volumes retained by libraries that exit agreements; and
  6. define subject and other collection specialties by institution for prospective shared collection building.

A shared print program, along with a well defined scope, should also include a formal agreement, usually in the form of an MOU, with operating policies and guidelines.