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SPAN Monographs Project


In November 2015, SPAN embarked on a monograph project in conjunction with Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) of OCLC. The intent of the project is to assess usage, duplication, and dispersion of holdings across participating libraries, to the fullest extent the collective data can support. There is strong interest in identifying and preserving scarcely-held materials within the group. There is also interest in de-selecting some low-use, widely-held titles. COPPUL also seeks to design its project to dovetail with the Last Copy initiative currently under discussion, and organized by the Library and Archives of Canada. Depending on timing, scope, and other factors, it is hoped that COPPUL data generated by this project can be incorporated into any broader initiative that eventuates. Similarly, COPPUL and the University of Saskatchewan would like to make use (subject to modification and update) of the data generated during Saskatchewan’s individual project with SCS.

The following member libraries are participating in this project:

Simon Fraser University
Thomson Rivers University
University of Calgary
University of Lethbridge
University of Manitoba
University of Regina
University of Saskatchewan*
University of Victoria
University of Winnipeg
Vancouver Island University


Overall project goals include:

  • Providing participating libraries an opportunity to weed with minimal impact on users.
  • Identifying unique or scarcely-held titles for retention and preservation.
  • Evolving a regional strategy for print book collections Depending on the number and interest of participating libraries, there may also be an opportunity to inform and influence ongoing collection development for print monographs in the region.

The project will focus first on shared retention scenarios, based on the data. Retention models will be defined by the group, and treatment of those titles decided collaboratively. Retention commitments will be allocated according to parameters decided by the group, creating a print book ‘safety net’ across the group. Once retention commitments have been identified, individual libraries will be able to act independently and according to local needs on other holdings.

In scope data for this project includes:

  • Circulating print monographs (including reference works that circulate) 
  • Juvenile materials 
  • Government documents that are classed in LC or DDC 
  • Music scores

Out of Scope data includes:

  •  Serials (anything with record type ‘s’) 
  • Special Collections 
  • Government Documents (other than those classed in LC or DDC) 
  • Reference books and other non-circulating items 
  • E-Books 
  • Micro-formats/Fiche 
  • Audio-Visual/Media 
  • Lost/Withdrawn items
  • Theses/Dissertations 
  • Maps

For more information about this project, please contact Doug Brigham at span@coppul.ca.