Shared print

OCLC’s bold vision is to build on our established infrastructure and leadership to provide libraries with even greater capacity to collaboratively build, manage and curate the collective collection.


WorldCat and its importance to the collective collection

WorldCat plays a key role in the ecosystem of libraries. It is a record of what libraries hold in their collections, and accordingly it is an important representation of the scholarly and cultural record. WorldCat has allowed libraries to collaborate at scale to build and to share their collections.

Libraries are now evolving how they think about their print collections. Managing the collective collection has become a central concern, as libraries explore the relationship between local print collections, shared collections at different levels and digitized collections. By better managing the print collection and treating all library resources as part of the global collective collection, libraries encourage more people to come to the library as a place of learning, innovation, and collaboration.

Many libraries are already managing down their local print collections with OCLC’s help. And they want to do this in the context of a responsible overall approach to the stewardship of the scholarly and cultural record. And given WorldCat’s central role, we understand that the community again expects to rely on WorldCat and other OCLC services, such as WorldShare ILL, to help.

Shared collections research

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.

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. Our work explores three related areas:

  • Understanding the Collective Collection
  • Optimizing resource sharing
  • Sourcing and scaling

Learn more about OCLC Research's Understanding the System-wide Library work.

Collection analysis and visualization

Sustainable Collection Services provides tools and services to help manage, share, archive or remove monographs to transform valuable library space. GreenGlass is a purpose-built, interactive application that allows you to explore your print collection.

Collection registration

OCLC shared print registration service streamlines the process of registering shared print group retention commitments for single-part monographs to operationalize the collective collection more quickly.

Service benefits:

  • Allows batch creation of Shared Print single-part monograph retention commitments
  • Provides ability to output MARC records in multiple formats, including non-interleaved LHRs, for input into ILS
  • Uses non-MARC data to create LHRs (via 583 Action Note)
  • Eliminates the need for an OCLC second symbol
  • Sets the Shared Print holding type flag in the WorldCat bib record which enables display and queries on the data
  • Included in your library’s full cataloging subscription or a holdings registration subscription

To learn more about how to access this service, read the documentation.

OCLC, working closely with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to enhance the underlying infrastructure of the OCLC WorldCat database and CRL’s Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) to accommodate and make accessible actionable data for shared print serials management.

Read more in the press release

Get updates about this project 


Member stories


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.

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