About the Project

The Maine Shared Collections Strategy (MSCS) brought together eight of Maine’s largest libraries, plus the state’s consortium, Maine InfoNet, in an effort to create a strategy for the shared management of print collections in the state.

Under this three-year project, funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the partner libraries collaborated to make decisions about the storage, retention, and preservation of print materials (both books and journals), as well as implementing on-demand delivery services in the state-wide catalog MaineCat. This helped alleviate space concerns while ensuring that users continue to have equal or greater access to the information.

The project’s goals were:

  1. To develop a strategy for a statewide, multi-type library program for managing, storing and preserving print collections among public and private institutions to achieve greater efficiencies and extend the power of every dollar invested in collections and library facilities.
  2. To expand access to existing digital book collections by developing print-on-demand (POD) and e-book-on-demand (EOD) services to support long-term management of a shared print collection, and the integration of digital resources with print collections.
  3. To formalize organizational agreements, establish a budget, and develop policies essential for the maintenance of shared print and digital collections, access to them, and responsibility for sharing them.

To meet these project goals MSCS:

  • Compared and analyzed collection data at scale for approximately 3 million items across the eight partner libraries’ collections, from data residing in five different library systems, with the assistance of Sustainable Collection Services (SCS).
  • Developed selection criteria and implemented decisions for print monograph and serial titles retention, management, preservation, and potential de-accessioning across the eight MSCS partner libraries.
  • Incorporated data on HathiTrust and Internet Archive titles as digital surrogates for print holdings as part of their collection analysis activities.
  • Went beyond the project goal of developing a model for jointly managing and preserving print collections to actually agreeing to commit to retain a total of 1.4 million title-holdings for a 15-year period. MSCS partner libraries now have the option to safely de-accession certain copies, based on trust and retention commitments made at the group level.
  • Became the first shared print initiative to disclose retention commitments for monograph titles in the OCLC Local Holding Records of titles using the OCLC Shared Print Symbol. MSCS also documented retention commitments in the local systems of partner libraries and the union catalog MaineCat in the item MARC fields 561, 583, and 852.
  • Developed a governance structure for the post-grant activities of the Maine Shared Collections Cooperative has been developed, documented in a Memorandum Of Understanding, and approved by the partner institutes.
  • Implemented Ebook-On-Demand and Print-On-Demand services, with 1.4 million public domain HathiTrust records loaded into the union catalog MaineCat, with links to HathiTrust, Google Books, and Print-on-Demand options.
  • MSCS partners Colby College and the University of Maine became the first institutions in Maine to join the HathiTrust. The partnership will provide their patrons with increased levels of access to materials in the digital collection including: full download access to public domain titles, special access to materials under Section 108 of U.S. copyright law, and access to in-copyright works for users with print disabilities. The University of Maine also worked with the HathiTrust to create a “Maine Collection” of Maine related items in the HathiTrust.
  • Widely publicized the work of MSCS both on its own website and Twitter feed, but also at regional, national, and international professional conferences, in journals, publications, news feeds, and the local press.