The US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collection: A 2019 Snapshot

by Brian Lavoie

In this position paper, Lavoie traces the contours of the US and Canadian collective print book collection—the collective print book holdings of all libraries in the US and Canada whose collections are registered in WorldCat, the world’s largest shared registry of library collections. Collective collections are growing in importance as a source of intelligence about services that operate across collection boundaries, such as shared print management, group-scale discovery, and resource sharing. This position paper examines the US/Canadian collective print book collection for insight and trends.

Findings include:

  • The collection includes 59.2 million distinct print book publications, based on 994.3 million holdings, and is growing.
  • The collection is becoming more dilute, in terms of holdings duplication.
  • The collection is globally diverse in terms of country of publication and language of content.
  • The collection’s largest regional concentration is in the northeastern US. In most regions within the US and Canada, growth in print book publications exceeded growth in print book holdings.
  • The collection’s size and scope are a result of contributions from all libraries in the US and Canada, not just the leading research institutions.

The position paper also includes a new rendering of the mega-regional map of US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collections. Read the full position paper for more insights and findings.

Download US Letter .pdf

Download A4 .pdf    


Graphics Gallery

OCLC Research encourages the reuse and distribution of our work by providing it with a CC By 4.0 license. For your convenience we have created Power Point slides for the most requested images, complete with suggested citation. Please feel free to use these slides in your presentations or publications without the need to request further permission.

Download the Power Point Slide (1)

Suggested citation:

Lavoie, Brian. 2019. The US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collection: A 2019 Snapshot. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research.

The US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collection: A 2019 Snapshot

For More Information

For more information about this work, please contact OCLC Research.

Email OCLC Research