Understanding the System-wide Library

Our research agenda aims to improve our understanding of the factors that guide institutions in their sourcing and scaling choices as they seek maximum impact and efficient provision of library collections and services.

Libraries are embedded in an increasingly complex network of information supply and demand. Our goal is to provide evidence and insight to libraries as they organize collections and services within this changing network environment.

Current Projects

University Futures, Library Futures

OCLC Research is working with colleagues at Ithaka S+R on a new project examining the impact of increased institutional differentiation in universities on the organization of academic libraries and the services they provide.
Learn more »


Interlibrary Loan Cost Calculator

OCLC Research, in collaboration with staff from OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions, is creating a Web based tool that will allow library administrators and practitioners to better understand the costs of sharing collections. This work is part of a suite of OCLC Research activities aimed at Understanding the System-wide Library.
Learn more »


Scope and Diffusion of National Presence in the Published Record

This report uses Scotland as a case study to illustrate this concept of national presence, explain how this presence can be operationalized in library data and demonstrate how the data can be used to define patterns of analysis characterizing the general contours of a national presence and its diffusion worldwide.
Learn more »


SHARES

SHARES is a program of expedited, cost-saving interlibrary lending that also develops innovative new methods to improve collections sharing. OCLC Research Library Partnership is a prerequisite to joining SHARES.
Learn more »


Past Projects

Right-scaling Stewardship: A System-wide Perspective on Print Books in the CIC

A collaboration between OCLC Research, CIC and OSU will examine the criteria academic institutions should consider when selecting books for shared print collections and explore the scale at which library stewardship of print books might be organized in years to come.
Learn more »


Print Management at "Mega-scale": a Regional Perspective on Print Book Collections in North America

This work provides a deep understanding of what regionally-consolidated print collections would look like if they came to pass, as what the implications would be for system-wide issues such as mass digitization, resource sharing, and preservation.
Learn more »


Cloud Library: Cloud-sourcing Shared Research Collections

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.
Learn more »


OhioLINK Collection and Circulation Analysis

A joint project with the OhioLINK library consortium and OhioLINK’s Collection Building Task Force, which examines bibliographic, holdings, and circulation data from Ohio college and university libraries to better understand the usage patterns of books in academic libraries.
Learn more »