Stewarding the Collective Collection

Exploratory Data Analysis of U.S. and Canada Shared Print Retention


OCLC continues to build upon its foundational infrastructure investment to support the long-term management of library monographic print resources. In collaboration with The Partnership for Shared Book Collections, this project represents OCLC’s commitment to significantly contribute to developing a sustainable system for regular analysis of shared print retention holdings to support the entire library community.

Purpose and Scope

The Partnership seeks to understand the current state of print book retention commitments. The research questions guiding this project are:

  • Is the retention commitment data aggregated so far sufficient to inform decisions?
  • What is not being adequately retained (or potentially over-retained)?

To this end, OCLC has collaborated with The Partnership on an iterative exploratory data analysis project to understand the maturity of shared print services and the depth of shared print commitments. To answer the research questions, the project team needed to examine the broad landscape of retained and unretained print book collections. The investigation included identifying and analyzing current registered monograph print retentions in the US and Canada and comparing the landscape of print retentions against all monographic bibliographic holdings. Project findings will be shared in presentations and a forthcoming publication.



Project Leads

Rachel Frick

Devon Smith

Project Team

Heather Carlisle

Heather Carter

Gibi George

Kirk Hess

Rachael Juskuv 


Project Partner

The Partnership for Shared Book Collections (PSBC)

Ian Bogus

Susan Stearns

Alison Wohlers