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Sustainable Collection Services™

Analyze your library or consortial collection to manage and share print monographs


Visualize and model your collection

Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) provides tools and services to help manage and share print monographs. SCS offers GreenGlass™, a web application that allows single libraries and library groups to:

  • Explore and visualize their collection in the context of the collective collection
  • Quickly model deselection and print management scenarios
  • Generate custom reports and lists to support weeding and other collection management activities

Learn more about GreenGlass


Learn from the experts

SCS also provides customized consulting services in areas related to collection analysis, deaccession, record maintenance, and materials movement:

  • Workflow design, analysis and optimization for withdrawal, storage and shared print processes
  • Development and implementation of batch record maintenance options
  • Facilitation and data support for shared print projects
  • Project management
  • Education and training for stakeholders

Schedule an SCS Seminar for your stakeholders

SCS has assembled a vast amount of information about the use and costs of print collections. This background material has proved very useful in thinking through the benefits and risks of managing print journal and monograph collections more actively—and in balancing deselection with each library's responsibility to the "collective collection" and to future users.

We offer seminars and presentations on these themes, tailored to audiences of library staff, teaching faculty and/or campus administrators. Our content is continually evolving, as we incorporate new information and perspectives—and as we work with library after library to analyze print collections and to help generate reliable lists of withdrawal and retention candidates.

Rethinking library resources: sustainable print collections in a digital age (a half-day seminar)

Library shelves are increasingly full, and more books are being published than ever. Yet surprisingly few are being used. The Kent study, begun in 1969 at the University of Pittsburgh, found that 40% of monographs in academic collections never circulate. Recent data suggest that percentage is even higher today, as users flock to electronic content. Meanwhile, library administrators seek to expand space for group study, information commons, writing centers and cafes. Much of the available space is currently occupied by low-use print collections, stored and maintained at an estimated annual cost of $4.26 per volume. For all these reasons, print collections are facing scrutiny.

Many libraries have already begun to store or withdraw journal backfiles represented in JSTOR, to weed print reference collections, to share last-copy responsibilities, and to rethink tangible Government Documents. For print monographs, other factors must be considered, such as the extent of holdings in other libraries, regional commitment to shared print, and the availability of secure e full-text digital surrogates.

We have distilled this research from the library literature and our monitoring of current activity into a dynamic 2-3 hour presentation on "Rethinking Library Resources." This seminar is available for individual libraries and consortia, and can be adapted for audiences of librarians, administrators, and faculty.


Data-driven deselection for monographs: achieving a sustainable print collection (2-hour presentation)

This is designed as a more focused and practically-oriented introduction to monographs deselection. Presentation time is 60-75 minutes, typically followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers. The presentation includes a detailed look at several library case studies in which low-circulation titles are identified, compared to holdings in other libraries, to authoritative title lists and to print and digital archives. Particular attention is paid to available tools for selectors and administrators, such as the GIST Gifts & Deselection Manager (GDM) and our own decision-support system for deselection (GreenGlass).

This is very much a how-to session for libraries or consortia seeking to inform deselection decisions with data from outside sources as well as circulation and in-house use. We will present anonymized data sets and results from several libraries, and will highlight portions of the analytical process.

This session typically concludes with some thoughts about project management, scoping, getting started and getting finished.

Well-attended faculty session at the US Naval Academy

Faculty seminar at the US Naval Academy


Responsibly drawdown monograph collections

SCS offers deselection decision-support tools to academic libraries. SCS tools enable carefully managed drawdown of low-use print monograph collections while supporting shared print archiving efforts. Our uniquely tailored reports combine local circulation and item data with WorldCat holdings, Hathi Trust Digital Library holdings, and authoritative title lists. The result: cost-effective, evidence-based decisions.

Learn more about GreenGlass

Librarian carefully managing the drawdown of low-use print monograph collections

Member stories

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Renovate for today's information environment

See how Connecticut College combined a collection management project with a building renovation to offer modern study, collaboration and technology spaces to students and faculty.

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Share your print collection to expand your library

Discover how a small group of academic libraries in Iowa formed the Central Iowa – Collaborative Collections Initiative to share print resources.

"The SCS analytics are a gold mine in helping us to determine how to proceed with print materials. I can't remember the last time I was as excited with both software and data as that offered by SCS!"

Neal Baker
Library Director, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana