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WEST Working Groups Update

In the 2019 Strategic Planning Session the WEST governance groups issued several recommendations to form working groups to review various aspects of the WEST program. The following working groups were formed and have been working on executing their charges over the last year:

Disclosure and Validation Standards

Recommendation 10: Convene a dedicated working group to review and revise as necessary the WEST Disclosure Policy and Validation Standards.

The Disclosure and Validation Standards (DVS) Working Group was formed in the spring of 2020 to review and update the WEST Disclosure Policy and Validation Standards. In the summer of 2020, in collaboration with the Resource Sharing (RS) Working Group, the DVS group reviewed the history and use of the OCLC shared print second symbol and issued a recommendation to the WEST governance groups to discontinue use of the second symbol for WEST disclosures. Both the OCC and WEST Executive approved the recommendation in the fall of 2020. After this decision, the DVS group began reviewing and updating the Disclosure Policy; the final version of the updated policy will reflect current and emerging community expectations and norms and will provide practical guidance for leveraging recent enhancements to the shared print infrastructure. The final document will be distributed in the summer of 2021. As their next task, the DVS group will review the Validation Standards and update them as necessary to ensure WEST is aligned with community-held expectations and best practices, and is making the most effective use of program and Archive Builder resources.

Non-journal Formats

Recommendation 5: Convene a working group to take up the question of expanding WEST’s scope to include non-journal formats (analog or digital) and/or to collaborate with non-journal shared print programs.

The Non-journal Formats (NjF) Working Group has been conducting extensive research into potential areas of expansion for WEST’s collection scope. The group has presented four refined proposals for areas of potential action to the WEST Operations and Collections Council (OCC), which has provided feedback and input. The proposals will be reviewed by the WEST Executive Committee before being shared with the wider WEST community for comment and discussion.

Resource Sharing

Recommendation 9: Convene a dedicated working group to review and revise, as necessary, the WEST borrowing and lending documentation and lending statistics reporting practices. 

The Resource Sharing (RS) Working Group formed in the summer of 2020 to review and update the WEST Access Guidelines and documentation supporting lending and borrowing of WEST materials. Their initial activity was to work with the DVS group to review the history and use of the OCLC shared print second symbol, which was completed in the fall of 2020 with the approval by the WEST governance committees to discontinue use of the second symbol for WEST-retained materials. Since that time, the RS group has been reviewing the Access Policy, Lending Guidelines, and Borrowing Guidelines and has identified a number of questions and opportunities to collaborate with other shared print initiatives to advocate for further enhancement to the shared print infrastructure by national organizations. 

Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles

Recommendation 1: WEST should develop a distinct vision statement, mission, and guiding principles that acknowledge WEST‘s regionality and highlight its commitment to collaboration at the network level.

The Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles Working Groupwas convened in the spring of 2021. Members were drawn from the WEST governance committees and WEST program team. The WEST OCC has provided feedback on an initial draft of WEST’s vision, mission, and guiding principles, which acknowledge WEST’s unique characteristics while situating it in a larger national and social structure and provides a framework for understanding the possibilities and potential of shared print. The WEST Executive Committee will review the draft, which will then be shared with the wider WEST community for comment.