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Notes from the WEST Members Meeting at 2020 ALA Midwinter

On January 26, WEST held an open Members Meeting at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, PA. During this meeting the WEST project team presented program updates as well as an overview of the 2019 WEST Member Assessment findings, outcomes from the strategic planning session held in October 2019, and the first look at working groups that will be convened in 2020 to help move WEST forward on a number of topics.

The 2019 WEST Assessment included both a historical look back at the program as well as inquiry into how the program can evolve to continue to meet member needs and maximize our resources as part of the wider shared print community. The questions and comments posed by session attendees mirrored these areas of inquiry:

  • engaging in WEST as a Non-archive Holder,
  • the continued relevance of regionality to the program while ensuring that it is coupled with active engagement nationally with other regional shared print programs,
  • the history of the WEST Archive Types and the development of the different validation and environmental requirements,
  • the complementary benefits and drawbacks of archiving in open stacks vs storage facilities and the importance of bibliographic and physical validation to create trustworthy and reliable archives,
  • next steps in operationalizing the Rosemont Access Principles and Reciprocal Retention Agreement, and
  • managing the large amount of Silver and Gold archiving that is left to be done, and potential ways to manage this work effectively (e.g., recruiting additional members to serve as Archive Builders, updating the participation model to increase flexibility and engagement, refining the collection analysis process to reduce the number of ‘false positives’ that are the result of incomplete metadata).

The WEST project team and governance groups have been engaging with these questions and discussion topics for some time, and are convening a number of working groups to engage more deeply and fully with these and other issues:

  • Working Group for WEST Resource Sharing
  • Working Group for Disclosure and Validation Standards
  • Working Group to Investigate Non-journal Formats
  • Advisory Group for Program Cost-share Model

These groups will be asked to review and either produce updated documentation or make specific recommendations for how WEST should proceed in these areas. Full charges and estimated time commitments for these groups are forthcoming. A visualization of all WEST committees and working groups and their relationships can be found on the WEST website.

The slides from the members meeting can be found on the WEST website. Many thanks to all of those who joined the discussion both in person and remotely—your insightful questions and thoughtful comments made for a rich and meaningful discussion.

REMINDER: WEST will host two additional webinars to review the 2019 WEST Assessment report and findings and to introduce the outcomes and recommendations from the 2019 strategic planning session:


Wednesday January 29, 2020

2:00-3:30pm PST

Registration link:


Friday January 31, 2020

10:00-11:30am PST

Registration link:


The full 2019 WEST Assessment Report, outcomes from the Strategic Planning Session, and two supplemental reports on Deselection and What’s Left to Archive in WEST are available on the WEST website.