Shared Print Collections Continue to Grow: More Library Consortia Participate

Information Industry News

Shared print programs and the collective collections they create are continuing to grow with the addition of more individual libraries and, increasingly, library consortia joining as a group. This growth expands the lending networks of such programs, making unique and scarcely held titles more accessible to scholars, teachers, students, and researchers across their member libraries.One example of such growth is the recent addition of VIVA, Virginia’s Academic Library Consortium to the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) shared print program. Eleven of the VIVA libraries, including all eight of their doctoral level schools, are joining EAST as Retention Partners:

  • Christopher Newport University
  • George Mason University
  • James Madison University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Radford University
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington & Lee University
  • William & Mary

These libraries’ circulating print collections collectively number over 7 million titles, which will be included in a group wide collection analysis to determine titles to add to the EAST collective collection, currently numbering over 10 million monographs. This collective collection represents the book titles that EAST Retention Partners have committed to retain in their local collections on behalf of EAST and make available to partner libraries and the library community beyond. To best ensure discoverability and access to these titles, they are registered in OCLC WorldCattⓇ,in the Gold Rush Library Comparator tool maintained by the Colorado Alliance, and in local libraries’ online systems.In addition to these new EAST Retention Partners, five other VIVA four-year public schools, 23VIVA public two-year institutions, and 2 VIVA non-profit private institutions will join EAST asConsortia Supporting Partners, a new membership category which makes it possible for library consortia such as VIVA to include all of their libraries in the membership agreement with EAST.These Consortia Supporting Partners will be added to the EAST lending network, which today includes the current 80+ EAST academic and research libraries. This network facilitates lending and borrowing across the EAST member libraries, typically using standard Inter-Library Loan.

John Unsworth, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Virginia, indicated: “EAST and other shared print programs are increasingly important in the effort to guarantee continued availability of scholarship in print, and that’s why UVA is a RetentionPartner. EAST was created to protect and preserve the scholarly record and ensure its availability for generations to come. That aligns very well with the library mission of making yesterday’s information available tomorrow. I am particularly pleased to see VIVA join EAST, which I helped to launch eleven years ago, when I was at Brandeis University.”

Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries and Chief Academic Technology Officer at JamesMadison University agreed: “As chair of VIVA’s Steering Committee, I’m pleased to confirm our strong support for the mission of EAST and our eagerness to collaborate with fellow RetentionPartners and Consortia Supporting Partners in its crucial shared print and lending network.EAST is well aligned to VIVA’s own efforts to support equitable, accessible, and robust library services and work cooperatively for the common good.”

Susan Stearns, Project Director for EAST, confirmed that “many of our current conversations with prospective EAST members are with library consortia, some of whom have previously undertaken smaller, regional shared print projects and realize that becoming a part of the largerEAST community provides them with the many advantages of scale. We look forward to continuing to expand EAST through such consortial relationships.”

About These Organizations


VIVA is the consortium of academic libraries in Virginia representing 71 institutions of higher education. Members include the 39 public colleges and universities, 31 independent private non-profit institutions, and the Library of Virginia. Since 1994, VIVA has worked to build an equitable, accessible, and robust infrastructure of library resources and services for Virginia higher education students and faculty.


EAST is a collaboration of 100+ academic and research institutions focused on protecting and preserving print scholarly materials. By comparing the print collections of EAST RetentionPartners, a collective collection of unique, scarcely held, and frequently used book and journal titles is identified to be retained by the participating libraries. The EAST Lending Network ensures these titles can be shared across the member libraries. EAST was originally founded asa program of theBoston Library Consortium with grant funding from both the Andrew W. Mellon and Davis Educational Foundations.