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Print Archive Network Forum Summary and Follow-up Discussion (July 2nd from 9-10am PT)

On Friday, June 26, the Center for Research Libraries hosted the first ever all-virtual Print Archive Network (PAN) Forum bringing together over 100 colleagues of the collaborative library community for a robust agenda of short presentations and panel discussions. It was the best-attended PAN Forum in the history of the event and one of the most engaging sets of topics yet. 

Anyone who attended the Forum, or part of it, is invited to join a post-PAN “water cooler” session for a more informal, virtual face to face discussion of the topics. If you were unable to attend, check out the preliminary recording here, and feel free to join the conversation! Meeting details below. 

Post PAN Water Cooler Discussion: Thursday, July 2, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) / 9am Pacific Time

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 875 7177 2803

Password: 903498

Leveraging networks and connecting shared print work to digital preservation and access dominated as themes of the Forum. Discussion and presentations made very clear the energy and innovation characterizing library responses to new challenges, like campus closures and anticipated budgetary constraints.

The Forum started off with short presentations highlighting ongoing work in the shared print community. Highlights:

  • First look at the model and tool under development to guide libraries in determining the number of retention copies needed based on key variables like condition and environment
  • Overview of Canada’s national approach to managing the development of shared print collections of government documents and looking to the future of connecting print retention efforts to digitization projects and collaborations
  • Update on the framing of the CDL, CRL, & HathiTrust collaboration for establishing interconnected and open shared print infrastructure; first look at efforts to identify “quick wins” (short term projects that contribute to longer term effort)

Two panels followed after a brief break for attendees. The first, What’s next for the JSTOR print collections? Don’t stop now!, featured WEST colleagues Sion Romaine from University of Washington and Cathy Martyniak from UC SRLF, along with three other panelists sharing their unique perspectives on the work thus far to establish robust JSTOR print archives and the way forward. The panel sought to bring our attention back to JSTOR as one of the core categories of shared collections that tends to also be a target for space reallocation. Highlights:

  • JSTOR as an organization is open to and interested in working with the community to identify candidates for digitization
  • The work to validate the completeness and quality of digital copies is extremely resource-intensive – an ideal area to leverage our shared print networks so the work need only be done once
  • Reliable metadata is essential in the development of shared print archives – the community (JSTOR, shared print programs, OCLC, etc.) must work together to ensure the metadata is accurate and consistent across the databases in which it is recorded
  • Subject areas have distinct needs when it comes to the number of print copies available and the quality of digitized content – for some disciplines, like fine art and architecture, users continue to prefer the print copy, which may necessitate distinct models in how we structure retention models and digitization practices
  • How can we leverage our national collaborations to facilitate this kind of work and ease the load on individual libraries? Rosemont Alliance? 

The second and final panel, Pushing through the pandemic: Digital availability, drew together and expanded upon the themes established earlier in the Forum, while also situating the conversation in the present moment and its unique challenges. This panel featured WEST colleagues Lorrie McAllister from Arizona State University and Kerry Scott from UC Santa cruz, along with Rosemont colleagues, Sherri Michaels from Indiana University of BTAA and Michael Rodriguez from University of Connecticut in EAST. Attendees were highly engaged with the topics of this panel and insights of the panelists, asking questions up through the end of the Forum’s scheduled time! Highlights: 

  • Prompt 1: what are ways that we can enable broader resource access to our communities, not just when we are working remotely, but bringing that spirit to our work moving forward?
    • We need to start exploring more controlled digital lending and expand our view of what shared print offers both to shared print program members and beyond the program
    • This moment and emergency services like those provided by HathiTrust (ETAS) highlight inequity of access – well-resourced institutions have ready access to digital copies in this moment, but institutions with much smaller collections to match against the digital corpus will have access to much less
  • Prompt 2: what is one thing we can do as a network (or as a network of shared print networks) that will improve our overall management of the collective collection?
    • Double-down on expanding access, working together, advocating for the future we want to see
    • Grow the national collective collection model (e.g. Rosemont Alliance and the Partnership for Shared Book Collections)
    • Invest in metadata accuracy (e.g. collection inventories)
  • Prompt 3: access to information is what brings us all together: publishers, vendors, libraries, and our users. What is one suggestion that could move us all toward a future in which more resources are available to more people?
    • Find common ground with publishers and vendors to effect change and engage with the entire ecosystem
    • Progress toward more collective collection development models

Check out the full, preliminary recording of the session here