Best Practices: Good, Better, Best

The Partnership for Shared Book Collections asks each member to strive to meet the level of the Partnership Best Practices to the best of the Member Program’s ability. While this can vary greatly depending on each member’s resources and scope of programs, we suggest that shared print programs strive for at least “better” practices in order to be good stewards of collections and as members of shared print programs, but this can vary again on ability, scope, and maturity of the program. Some best practices do not have variations in good, better, or best so you can assume those are “better” practices for all programs. Some also lack a good because “better” was already the current standard in the shared print community. 


Practices identified as “good” are baseline best practices for the majority of shared print programs and partners. In many cases these are practices already agreed to per a shared print program’s MOU or are minimum practices for programs. They can be thought of as things that libraries may already be doing as part of shared print stewardship. 


Practices identified as “better” are what the majority of our best practices are framed around. These are practices that may be standard in most shared print programs, but may not be required via an MOU or followed regularly.  They can be thought of as practices libraries should do in order to be good stewards of collections and as members of a shared print program. 


Practices identified as “best” are practices that exceed the expectations of the majority of shared print programs and members participation in those programs. These are often things that are possible only when resources at shared print programs or member libraries are available. Still, they should be thought of as practices that ensure the continuance of materials through shared print programs today and into the future.


The aspirational category highlights practices that have been identified as being useful to shared print efforts, but that may be in development or not yet created, or not yet in widely used practice. These practices may leverage new technologies or approaches more commonly used in other disciplines or industries. They represent solutions that potentially create greater efficiencies or capability in shared print practices in the future. Aspirational practices are not expected to be implemented now; rather they are meant to provide insight that may or may not be incorporated into the frameworks of good, better and best in future review.