CARL and LAC Co-Lead National Shared Print Project to Better Track and Preserve Published Materials

Thursday, October 10, 2019. – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have joined forces to improve preservation of Canadian publications in Canadian libraries.

CARL member libraries and others are committed to ensuring proper stewardship of our Canadian published heritage, in both print and digital forms. With space and resources at a premium, collective efforts to manage print publications are becoming increasingly necessary. In order to study the current situation and recommend future action, CARL and LAC have established a working group to design and implement a national strategy for collective print preservation and access for Canadian publications, building on some very successful regional initiatives. Digitization will be relevant as it impacts print retention requirements and the provision of access. To ensure the national strategy draws upon and complements similar efforts in other countries, the working group will also liaise and collaborate with international print preservation initiatives.

As part of this initiative, 26 libraries are collaborating on a pilot project to review their holdings of Canadian federal government publications. In its first phase, the Overlap Study pilot project will provide an overall snapshot of the extent of duplication of federal government publications across participating library collections. This phase is being undertaken using the GreenGlass software with support from OCLC’s Sustainable and is well underway, with preliminary results expected to be shared in winter 2020.

The second phase will develop a framework for the retention of these print publications, in consultation with the participants.

Additional elements of the work of the Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group include:
• an environmental scan of international collective print preservation initiatives,
• the prioritization and pursuit of further overlap studies (for example, for Canadian monograph holdings),
• the development of a public registry of commitments to hold a work(s) for long-term or permanent access through bibliographic records, and
• a detailed proposal which describes how Canadian libraries could strategically build a national network of distributed and/or central facility-based print preservation and access which addresses various categories of Canadian print publications and provides multiple options for library participation.

Visit Library and Archives Canada’s Shared Print Collections in Canada web page to learn more about this initiative, the Overlap Study, and for a list of participating libraries.