The importance of shared print initiatives is growing and the Hathi Trust is poised to become an important element in the library infrastructure of the future. Their participant list now shows 52 institutional participants and three major consortia. It’s clear that mass digitization, the flip to electronic resources and space demands have resulted in a new view of the print collection in academic libraries. There is now motivated discussion among research libraries about how to construct a new system of services based on the digitized aggregation, local collections and shared storage repositories.
To quote my colleague, Lorcan Dempsey, “we are pleased that much of the empirical context for this discussion and quite a bit of intellectual leadership has come from OCLC Research work being done for the RLG Partnership. Constance Malpas has been leading this activity, and has been creating and supporting links between various community initiatives and relevant product areas in OCLC.
Her much-awaited report detailing the initial work that formed the basis for this activity has now appeared. It is likely to be quite influential in future planning activities.”
Even if this is not a core interest you should be familiar with the major findings. You’ll be pleased to see that the report has an excellent executive summary 😉