Best Practices for Transferring Commitments or Materials

These practices are intended to address the following circumstances, and presume that all reasonable and/or possible efforts to retain commitments were made: 

A. Transfers of commitments or materials within a shared print program. This could be driven by individual libraries or could be directed by the program itself.
B. Transfers of commitments or materials between shared print programs or from other libraries.

Note that creating or confirming access to a surrogate digital copy before transferring physical copies is ideal but not always feasible depending upon local circumstances, resources and/or policy.

Circumstance A: Transfers within a program

In order to maintain a fixed number of commitments within a program and throughout the Partnership, the following practices are recommended.

  • If after following local guidelines the title will be withdrawn, the library should seek to transfer the commitment prior to withdrawal. The library should seek either to transfer both the physical volume(s) comprising the title and the commitment, or the commitment alone, within the shared print program to another participating member willing to take either or both.
  • Duplication of the title across the two collections should be determined by comparing pieces to the corresponding bibliographic description at each library. 
    • The library should seek first to transfer commitments to a member library within the same shared print program.
    • If no other library holds the title or is willing to take on the commitment, the library should seek to transfer the title to another shared print program (see Circumstance B).
  • Libraries are not required but are strongly encouraged to accept requests for transfer of a retention commitment.
  • All libraries involved should update local, OCLC, and any other records of commitments, according to current best practices.

Circumstance B: Transfers between programs or other libraries

  • If no library participating in the same program is willing or able to take on a commitment, the library should seek to transfer commitment to another program.
  • If a sufficient number of copies of a title are held within the member program, libraries should consider contacting other programs to see if the title is sought/needed elsewhere.
  • If the transfer is due to a library exiting a shared print program, please see Best Practices for Exiting a Shared Print Program.
  • If the transfer is due to a library being closed or no longer able to retain a collection, a shared print program should consider organizing a way to accept these materials when possible.

Last Updated December 2020