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WEST will migrate away from using the OCLC shared print second symbol

At the close of 2019, WEST completed its most recent program assessment and strategic planning process. Assessment outcomes pointed to the timeliness of reviewing and updating key WEST operational policies and practices. Around the same time, OCLC moved into the final stretch of its work to provide a new shared print registration service – one that no longer requires an OCLC shared print second symbol to disclose shared print in OCLC products. Therefore, in 2020, the WEST Disclosure and Validation Standards (DVS) Working Group and the WEST Resource Sharing (RS) Working Group were charged and convened, with their first task being to investigate the ongoing effectiveness of the OCLC shared print second symbol and submit a joint recommendation to the WEST OCC for unified WEST action regarding the second symbol. 

Recommendation – endorsed by WEST OCC and the Executive Committee

Moving forward, WEST libraries should disclose commitments on their primary OCLC symbol. WEST should, with the assistance of OCLC, coordinate the migration of historical commitments associated with the shared print second symbols to primary institution symbols. 

This recommendation is made acknowledging that there remain operational questions that must be addressed through further planning and testing to effectively facilitate implementation.

What are some of the benefits of disclosing via the primary symbol?

  • Simplified local workflows for disclosure, discovery, and requesting via interlibrary loan
  • Plain language indicator of shared print status (“shared print commitment” – “committed to retain”) rather than expectation of familiarity with cryptic codes
  • Standardized workflows across the shared print community for registration and disclosure
  • Potential long-term cost reduction for member institutions who no longer need to maintain multiple OCLC symbols
  • Lowers the barrier to participating as an Archive Holder by removing administrative overhead and costs

What happens next? 

The WEST Project Team, in communication with OCLC and with the input and oversight of the WEST OCC, will outline a project plan to support the migration of existing disclosure records from shared print second symbols to primary symbols, and ongoing WEST disclosure via primary symbols. The WEST Project Team is working closely with OCLC to identify the requirements for the different workflows available in this new service, which will be shared with members along with recommendations for how to select the workflow that best fits with your established local practices.

When is this happening?

WEST has set an aspirational timeline of migrating all existing WEST disclosure records away from shared print second symbols to primary symbols by spring 2021 (WEST’s next upcoming disclosure period). 

What is being asked of members?

Nothing at this time. For WEST Archive Holders and Builders, once the project plan is finalized, it will be distributed across the membership and the WEST Project Team will work individually with archiving institutions to coordinate migration, taking into consideration local resources and work loads. For Cycles 10/11 commitments, Archivers should continue using their current workflows (including using their second symbols). Any Cycles 10/11 commitments that are processed ahead of the Archiver’s migration will be captured in that project. WEST will be issuing an updated Disclosure Policy in the near future that will include detailed instructions for the new process.

Want to learn more? Questions? 

WEST members are encouraged to review the full report and recommendations jointly submitted by the Disclosure and Validation Standards (DVS) Working Group and Resource Sharing (RS) Working Group. Please contact the WEST Project Team ( and/or with your questions or feedback.