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TUG Libraries take on large-scale collection management collaboration

TUG books

The Tri-University Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier) known as TUG has embarked on a system-wide project to reduce duplication among low-use books while continuing to provide access to the maximal range of titles.

The Print Monograph Management Project has two goals: to responsibly reduce local print collections among the participating libraries so that space may be freed up for strategically important local uses, and to create and maintain a distributed, shared collection of books that are readily accessible within the group participants and to other libraries across the province.

Kicked off in March, the team anticipates that the project will run to spring 2015. It includes three phases: catalogue data extraction and normalization; creation, review and decision of collection analysis reports and preservation lists; and catalogue maintenance and withdrawal of identified materials.

Across all TUG main libraries and the shared long-term storage facility, the team is aiming for a target level of de-duplication of 20%. This project will not remove unique titles from the TUG collections, and a list of titles are planned to be marked for long-term retention.

The TUG Information Resources (TUG IR) Committee serves as the project coordination group, drawing on the expertise and experience of other TUG stakeholder groups. TUG IR is the primary communication point between the three library systems and the TUG Executive.

The project builds on previous efforts at collection rationalization such as monograph de-duplication in the joint storage facility and JSTOR Last Print Copy retention. U Guelph, U Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University Libraries have a long history of cooperative service provision and collection management.

To assist the libraries in the challenges in managing large bibliographic data sets, the TUG Libraries issued a formal project and RFP to secure additional expertise and large-scale data services. The US-based Sustainable Collections Services (SCS) was the successful bidding vendor for this project.


Annie Bélanger is an Associate University Librarian at the Information Resources & Academic Excellence, University of Waterloo.

Scott Gillies is the Head of the Information Resources Team at the University of Guelph.

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