Shared Print Management

Academic and research libraries increasingly are planning and implementing programs to share the responsibility and costs of maintaining print collections. These shared print projects also help library groups reclaim library space, adjust collection development efforts, and focus on special collections rather than commodity materials. Now there’s a need to operationalize shared print projects and OCLC sees four focus areas:

Data analysis

The data analysis and decision support required for these projects is time-consuming and complex. “Above the institution” decision making can be difficult due to disparate systems, services and data. OCLC acquired GreenGlass to accelerate efforts in collection management and shared print projects. GreenGlass provides tools and services to help manage and share print monographs through data-driven decision making.

Learn more about GreenGlass


Retention commitments are the building blocks of the collective collection. The group’s top priority should be to protect scarcely-held items, and to secure sufficient copies of widely-held titles to satisfy user demand. Group-level development of retention scenarios and coordinated retention commitments, allocated equitably among participants, enable shared stewardship at the level deemed appropriate by the group.

Read more on the RLUK blog


Depending on the committed collection size, age and other factors, shared print project managers may work with their institutions to undertake various levels of condition validation. These validation notes can be included in the 583 ‡a Action field. 


Once commitments are decided it’s critical to register those commitments so that libraries in the group, and outside the group, have a record of those commitments. OCLC shared print registration service streamlines the process of registering shared print group retention commitments to operationalize the collective collection more quickly. This service is included with your full cataloging subscription. The registration service ingests a standardized file you provide that contains the minimum data needed to create local holding records (LHRs) for each single-part monograph your institution is committed to retain. These local holdings records will be associated with your primary OCLC symbol and have a shared print holding type.

Additional Information

To learn more about the community involved in shared print initiatives, the Print Archive Network (PAN), a forum run by the Center for Research Libraries, is a great resource. 

OCLC is working with the library community to gather and evaluate additional requirements for cooperative management of print collections, including relevant services. If you are interested in learning more or have questions about our research or plans, please complete and submit the "Request more information" form on this page.