A brief history
Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) sprung from the desire to solve a single problem. In 10+ years of consulting for academic libraries, Rick Lugg and Ruth Fischer observed many facets of the struggle to transform libraries to meet 21st century challenges. One issue in particular stood out: the changing role of local print book collections.
In library after library, stacks were full, often with books that weren’t being used. Library space was wanted for other purposes, ranging from collaborative study to instructional design centers. Many low-use books were widely held in other libraries. Collection managers needed help assembling data to inform their decisions about retention, storage, transfer or withdrawal of some titles.
In 2008, Rick and Ruth wrote an article entitles “Weeding: The Time is Now” for Against the Grain, and began to focus on data-driven management for academic libraries. The SCS core concept was developed via workshops and focus groups of librarians. Eric Redman and Andy Breeding, longtime friends and colleagues, brought their unique skills to the project and the four partners together founded SCS in February 2011. Since then, SCS has undertaken nearly 200 projects, gradually becoming experts in all aspects of print collection management. They speak and write regularly on these topics.
From the outset, the aim of SCS has been to provide tools and consulting services that help academic libraries manage and share print monographs in new ways. OCLC and WorldCat have been central to this effort since 2011. In its work with customers, SCS remains focused on assuring that library projects have successful outcomes, and we value strong reciprocal relationships with our customers.
In 2012, SCS introduced GreenGlass, a web application that allows customers to interact with their collection data, and to experiment with various retention and withdrawal scenarios before creating lists. SCS works with both individual libraries and shared print projects of any size.
In January 2015, SCS was acquired by OCLC to bolster shared print efforts and expand the power and reach of SCS tools and services.