Scoping collective collections

Lorcan 3 min read

Over the next few years libraries will devote more attention to systemwide optimization of collections – within consortia, regions or countries. We have been using the phrase ‘collective collection’ to evoke the more focused attention to coordinated development, management and disclosure of collections this suggests. The current interest in the long tail, off-site storage, mass digitization and utilization of space highlight some issues, as does preservation of the print and emerging digital legacy.
In this context, one of our major strands of activity in current years has been looking at data about the collective collection to learn more about how collections relate to each other, how they are used, and what their salient characteristics are. In this post I present a list of publications on these topics. We are currently doing more work in this area, pulling together circulation data from several sources, doing further analyses of Worldcat, and other work. Work in progress is often reported through presentations. We are always interested in hearing about more about interesting questions where we might be able to help.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Jennifer Knievel [first author], and Heather Wicht. 2006. "Use of Circulation Statistics and Interlibrary Loan Data in Collection Management." College and Research Libraries, 67,1 (January): 35-49.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Edward T. O’Neill, and Chandra Prabha. 2006. "Last Copies: What’s at Risk?" College and Research Libraries, 67,4 (July): 370-379. Pre-print available online at: (PDF:151K/24pp.)

Dempsey, Lorcan. 2006. “Libraries and the Long Tail: Some Thoughts about Libraries in a Network Age.” D-Lib Magazine, 12,4 (April). Available online at:

Lavoie, Brian F. 2006. "Books without Boundaries: A Brief Tour of the System-wide Print Book Collection." With Roger C. Schonfeld. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 9,2 (Summer). Available online at:;view=text;rgn=main;idno=3336451.0009.208

Lavoie, Brian, Lorcan Dempsey, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. 2006. "Making Data Work Harder.", January 15, 2006. Available online at:

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Clifton Snyder. 2005. "Transaction Log Analysis of Electronic (E-Book) Usage." Against the Grain, February:85-89. Pre-print available online at: (PDF:173K/13pp.).

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Brian Lavoie, and Edward T. O’Neill. 2005. "Mining for Digital Resources: Identification and Description of Digital Materials in WorldCat." Forthcoming in Currents and Convergence – Navigating the Rivers of Change: Proceedings of the ACRL 12th national Conference, April 7-10, 2005, Minneapolis, Minn. Pre-print available online at: (PDF:110K/12pp.).

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Clifton Snyder, and Lawrence Olszewski [first author]. 2005. "What in the World: Leveraging Corporate Assests for Internal and External Use." SLA Toronto 2005: Putting Knowledge to Work. Proceedings of the Special Libraries Association 2005 Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 5-8, 2005. Available online at: (Word:617K/12pp.).

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Jennifer Knievel [first author], Heather Wicht. 2005. "Collection Analysis Using Circulation, Ill, and Collection Data." Against the Grain, 16,6(December 2004/January 2005):24-26.

Lavoie, Brian, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, and Lorcan Dempsey. 2005. “Anatomy of Aggregate Collections: The Example of Google Print for Libraries.” D-Lib Magazine, 11,9 (September). Available online at: Reprinted in Zeitschrift fur Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, 52,6 (2005): 299-310.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Heather Wicht [first author]. 2004. "Using Circulation, ILL and Collection Characteristics for the Development of Policies for Collections and ILL Services." Charleston Conference Proceedings, 2003, ed. Rosann Bazirjian and Vicky Speck; Katina Strauch, series editor, 188-191. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited (Greenwood Press).

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, with Justin Littman [first author]. 2004. “A Circulation Analysis Of Print Books And e-Books In An Academic Research Library.” Library Resources & Technical Services 48,4 (October):256-262. Available online at: (PDF:107K/22pp.)

Lavoie, Brian F. 2004. “Of Mice and Memory: Economically Sustainable Preservation for the Twenty-first Century.” In Access in the Future Tense. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources. Available online at:

Lavoie, Brian F., and Lorcan Dempsey. 2004. “Thirteen Ways of Looking at … Digital Preservation.” D-Lib Magazine, 10,7/8 (July/August). Available online at:

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