Collective Collection

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

We study the collective library resource, exploring implications for the organization of collections and collection-based services and seeking to optimize system-wide supply and demand.

Recent work:

Operationalizing the BIG Collective Collection: A Case Study of Consolidation vs Autonomy

Strength in Numbers: The Research Libraries UK (RLUK) Collective Collection

Understanding the Collective Collection: Towards a System-wide Perspective on Library Print Collections


Optimizing resource sharing

We analyze the ways that libraries share collections, services and other assets. We examine efficient groupings and the ways that libraries can optimize their ability to access rather than own information assets.

Recent work:

ILL Cost Calculator


Sourcing and scaling

We consider how to organize library-related activities at the appropriate scale of provision and consumption (e.g., institution-level, group-level, web). We seek to identify the optimal balance between library-related activities sourced within the institution and outside of it.

Recent work:

University Futures, Library Futures: An OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R Initiative

Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record: From the Invisible Hand to Conscious Coordination

Right-scaling Stewardship: A Multi-scale Perspective on Cooperative Print Management