by Emily Stambaugh (Shared Print Manager, California Digital Library, WEST Assistant Project Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org
Research libraries have inherited a legacy of print duplication; duplication that made sense in its time to ensure institutional competitiveness. But a network-wide shortage of storage space requires us to reduce the physical footprint of retrospective collections. Research libraries seek ways to make informed decisions about what to preserve and what to withdraw. The recent growth in last copy agreements suggest there is real momentum in the community to find collaborative solutions.1 But taken together, these efforts do not reach the scale that is needed to address the systemic and long-term shortage of space to house physical collections. Among the factors that have hampered such efforts, are: the absence of business models, organizational structures, collection decision- making models, disclosure systems, and incentives to create and sustain trusted archives. Large-scale collection consolidation has real operational costs that surpass existing consortial capabilities. A network level (regional, national, international) solution is required. Research libraries and consortia in the western United States have prepared a business model and operational structure for a Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) which is designed to support network level archive creation services to preserve the scholarly record, provide access, when needed, and manage reallocation of space.
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