Ithaka S+R is proud to announce our participation in a new multi-institutional partnership to facilitate the cross-industry development of collaborative library collections. The project is generously funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant for Libraries, awarded to the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), Lehigh University Libraries, and Ithaka S+R, along with 27 other partner organizations.

Addressing barriers to collection-sharing

While networks of libraries have a long tradition of sharing resources in order to expand their collections and offer a wider coverage of materials to patrons, a number of infrastructure barriers stand in the way of implementation, including the lack of data exchange standards, adequate governance and decision-making frameworks, and shared, community-driven tools for selection, deselection, and assessment. To address these barriers, the Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project (CCLP) will create a suite of best practices, prototype middleware, and improve standards in order to support libraries on the path towards collaborative collections development and management.

By developing a framework that libraries and consortia can use to share expertise, data, and collections, the CCLP will enable efficient curation and management of collections and allow libraries to steward limited, unique, or local resources for their patrons. For libraries with less-resourced collections budgets, and those serving historically underrepresented and underserved communities, access to shared materials could make all the difference. CCLP’s governance and structure is meant to promote shared accountability and sustainability across the collections’ lifecycle domains.

Our role

Ithaka S+R will contribute to the project by advising the CCLP Steering Committee and conducting research on collective collection development practices. We will explore different governance and collaboration models for successful planning, decision-making, implementation, and sustainability. In addition, Ithaka S+R will conduct a landscape review of organizations engaged in collaborative collection development projects through desk research and interviews, in order to develop a series of profiles. Collectively, the profiles will uncover organizations’ successes and challenges, as well as their future plans to highlight comparative models of collection development.

We look forward to sharing the results of our research with the library community.

Project partners

    • National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
    • Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI)
    • Lehigh University Libraries
    • Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA)
    • Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN)
    • Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA)
    • Center for Research Libraries
    • Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries
    • Minitex
    • Orbis Cascade Alliance
    • The Boston Library Consortium
    • The Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST)
    • Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA)
    • Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC)
    • Columbia University Libraries
    • Cornell University Library
    • Johns Hopkins University Libraries
    • New York University Libraries
    • Rutgers University Libraries
    • Tulane University Libraries
    • University of Delaware Library Museums and Press
    • University of Denver Libraries
    • University of Pittsburgh Library System
    • Washington & Jefferson College
    • Duke University Press
    • JSTOR
    • Project MUSE
    • Ithaka S+R
    • Index Data LLC
    • ISSN International Centre
    • Paratext LLC

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.