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Right-scaling Stewardship: A Multi-scale Perspective on Cooperative Print Management

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This report explores regional-scale cooperative print management from two perspectives: a local academic library print book collection (The Ohio State University), and a consortial-scale collective print book resource (the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of major US research institutions).

The goal of this report is to provide an empirically-based assessment, based on WorldCat bibliographic and holdings data, of the size, scope, and salient features of these collections, with special attention to identifying and characterising segments consisting of relatively scarce and relatively widely-held materials. The analysis also employs a subject-based approach to identifying distinctive collecting strengths at both the local and consortial level, and examines network demand for the consortial print resource using WorldCat Resource Sharing inter-lending data.

Insights and findings drawn from the analysis are discussed, which help map the territory of cooperative print strategies organised as a regionally-scaled collaboration. In particular, the findings highlight how scale shapes the scope and depth of the collective print resource; the degrees of redundancy and distinctiveness attached to that collective resource at both local and consortial level; and the scope of cooperation needed to achieve reasonable thresholds of coverage and access. The report also addresses how “right-scaling” stewardship of the collective print investment lies at the centre of any shared print strategy, in the sense of determining which materials are best managed at the local level, which are best moved into some form of shared stewardship infrastructure, and the appropriate scale at which collective management should take place.

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