Report Examines Model for Shared Repository

subject: depository libraries
depositories
repositories
Amherst College Library Depository
Five College Library Depository
offsite storage

CLIR Press Release

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2001

Contact: Kathlin Smith 202-939-4754

Report Examines Model for Shared Repository

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A new report from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) looks at the economic and logistical issues associated with creating a shared library depository. Entitled A Collaborative Approach to Collection Storage: The Five College Library Depository, the report is based on the efforts of the Five Colleges, Inc. (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) to create a shared repository. The arrangement is unusual in that each institution has agreed to deaccession duplicate copies and adopt joint ownership of the remaining collection.

Despite the promise of electronic technologies to alleviate space constraints, academic and research libraries continue to accumulate print materials at an unprecedented rate and are running out of room. The creation of off-site storage facilities has eased the situation for many institutions, and some have even decided to create shared repositories. In agreeing to adopt joint ownership of the collection, members of the Five Colleges, Inc. have taken the next step.

The promise of joint ownership is appealing. Institutions can deaccession duplicate copies of less-used works without jeopardizing access (unwanted duplicates will be donated to other libraries). The combined holdings will provide a richer resource for all. There is a great potential for cost savings. But there are also significant potential pitfalls. How did the Five Colleges agreement come about? What were the challenges? Author Willis Bridegam, director of the Amherst College Library, answers these questions, providing an overview of the advantages, disadvantages, costs, and politics of creating the Five College Library Depository. In addition to offering a valuable case study in practical matters, the report suggests a means by which libraries can emphasize their roles as service centers, rather than merely item repositories.

A Collaborative Approach to Collection Storage: The Five College Library Depository is available on CLIR’s Web site, www.clir.org. Print copies will soon be available for ordering through the Web site.

The Council on Library and Information Resources works in partnership with libraries, archives, and other information providers to advocate collaborative approaches to preserving the nation’s intellectual heritage and strengthening the many components of its information system. It works to support institutions as they integrate audiovisual and digital resources and services into their well-established, print-based environments.