Cloud Library: Cloud-sourcing Shared Research Collections

OCLC Research Library Partnership


This work has modeled requirements for increased institutional reliance on shared print and digital repositories, based on a case study of a single consumer institution and two representative print and digital suppliers. It offers recommendations for broader adoption of interdependent collection management regimes in the cloud.

Based on a case study of a model consumer institution and two representative print and digital suppliers, this activity modeled requirements for increased institutional reliance on shared print and digital repositories, and created recommendations for the implementation of broader adoption of interdependent collection management regimes. Generic policy, service and infrastructure requirements were modeled based on expectations articulated by NYU, ReCAP and the HathiTrust, and analyzed and refined in consultation with OCLC Research.

Background

The emergence of shared digital repository infrastructure (embodied by the HathiTrust Digital Library) in combination with shared physical repositories provides academic libraries with an opportunity to re-imagine collection management as a cooperative enterprise. Current economic pressures have exacerbated concerns about library investment in low-use physical collections that might be more efficiently managed as common-pool resources. OCLC Research has an ongoing program of work intended to advance community efforts in Shared Print management and document the risks and benefits of cooperative collection management. Members of the RLG Partnership Council identified the need for a focused analysis of the economic, policy and infrastructure requirements for building and sustaining shared physical and digital research collections in the cloud, based on a case study of a model client institution and two network suppliers.

Impact

The goal of this activity is to produce a framework that will enable academic research libraries to model the costs and opportunities associated with increased reliance on collections managed by the HathiTrust and shared print storage repositories. By modeling demand-based service opportunities, the project has also identified requirements for sustainable business partnerships amongst collection-based service producers and consumers in the non-profit educational sector.

Details

OCLC Research analyzed findings from the NYU / HathiTrust / ReCAP case study and determined to what extent they may be generalized as a model for academic collections as a whole. These findings have been published as the Cloud Library Report and will be used to promote wider awareness of the institutional opportunities and costs associated with broad adoption of more deeply interdependent collection management regimes.

Outputs

A report on the findings and recommendations from the project by Constance Malpas, Cloud-sourcing Research Collections: Managing Print in the Mass-digitized Library Environment (.pdf: 1.3MB/76 pp.), was published by OCLC Research in January 2011.

Most recent updates: Page content: 2011-01-06

This activity is a part of the Understanding the System-wide Library theme.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.