In 2009-2010, research libraries, college and university libraries, and library consortia in the western region of the United States joined together, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to plan for a shared print archiving program known as the “Western Regional Storage Trust.” The goals established for WEST were to:
- Preserve and provide access to the scholarly print record
- Facilitate space reclamation in WEST libraries and storage facilities
WEST’s development was made possible through grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, including a planning grant as well as two implementation grants. WEST transitioned from grant funding to a member-sustained model starting in 2018, and is now entirely self-sustaining.
WEST’s current membership includes a wide range of institution types, from small private liberal arts colleges to large research institutions to consortia. WEST is governed by an elected Executive Committee, which oversees its operation and development, and an Operations and Collections Council appointed by the Executive Committee, which oversees issues related to holdings disclosure and access/delivery. The California Digital Library serves as the Administrative Host for WEST and is responsible for program management and administrative services including:
- Providing an administrative home and support for the WEST Project Manager and other project staff.
- Administering WEST financial operations: calculating and collecting fees, processing validation payments to Archive Builders, maintaining auditable accounts, and preparing quarterly income and expense reports.
- Creating and maintaining the WEST website with documentation, lists of participants, policies, etc.
The WEST program is supported by two staff, a Program Manager responsible for working with governance groups to set strategic directions and liaise with outside organizations, and an Operations and Collections Analyst responsible for performing collection analyses and coordinating technical processes related to WEST.