Comparative Collection Assessment for Books


  1. Identify and characterize interlibrary loan (ILL) and usage patterns
  2. Identify and characterize book-collection holdings by library type, both domestic and international
  3. Formulate strategies for eBook collection development
  4. Contribute to the establishment of community-wide standards for eBook collections


This research supports OCLC's strategy for the development of member services for collection development and assessment and the development of international member services.

The Comparative Collection Assessment project will produce data that can be used by librarians for

  • developing print and eBook collections
  • comparing library book-collection holdings to specific types of aggregate libraries
  • evaluating and providing interlibrary loan services.


This project includes two phases: ILL usage data and collection assessment.

Phase I

The book-borrowing patterns of selected ARL libraries will be identified. These ILL statistics will be compared against the NetLibrary eBook collection.

Phase II

The WorldCat holdings collection assessment will include analyzing and comparing aggregate book holdings data for

  • ARLs
  • academic non-ARLs
  • public libraries.

Titles will be identified for each type of library, along with their

  • intellectual levels
  • subjects (using the conspectus)
  • publishers.


  • February 2003: Data collection begins.
  • February 2004: Data collection and analysis completed.
  • August 2004: Papers published.

Related publications

  • Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Stephen R. Lawrence. 2003. "A Comparison of the Functions and Processes Associated with Identifying, Selecting, Acquiring, and Organizing Paper Books and Electronic Books." In Learning to Make a Difference: Proceedings of the Eleventh National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, April 10-13, 2003, Charlotte, North Carolina, ed. Hugh A. Thompson, 35-45. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, A Division of the American Library Association, 2003. Available online at (PDF: 231K/11pp.).

Related presentations

Project team