Related product Collections Management

Number of Copies Recommendation for I-Share

At its March 2011 meeting, the CARLI Board of Directors asked the Collections Working Group to study the current distribution of monographic titles in the I-Share database, and to determine whether an optimal number of monograph copies available for Universal Borrowing in I-Share can be reasonably established. The Collections Working Group reported its findings to the Board at the June 2011 meeting.  

Based on the investigation and analysis of the Collections Working Group, the CARLI Board of Directors believes that it is appropriate to establish a specific number of copies, above which it is generally unnecessary for I-Share libraries to purchase additional copies. We find that the usage figures of multiple copies (as documented below), the availability of the I-Share system for identification of titles, the reliability of the state-wide delivery system for borrowing, and, finally, the need for greater accountability and cost efficiency with our limited resources, together make a compelling argument for a specific limit on the number of copies of the same monographic work in the state of Illinois and in I-Share.

Recommendation of the CARLI Board of Directors

The CARLI Board of Directors recommends that five (5) circulating copies of any edition of a  UB-eligible monographic title are adequate to meet the routine resource sharing needs  of the students, faculty and staff of all I-Share participating libraries. Selectors should consider this consortial, monographic duplication target in collection development planning and acquisitions decision-making.

The Board is providing this recommendation as guidance to member libraries; it is not a comprehensive and enforceable policy of CARLI.

This recommendation is not meant to negate the responsibility of each I-Share library “to develop its collection to provide primary support for its mission/curriculum. I-Share resource sharing is intended to supplement, not replace, the institution’s own collection and its ongoing development.” The CARLI Board recognizes that for some titles, especially where the content is of special local interest and/or where local usage is anticipated to be high due to explicit curricular needs or research interests, an institution may decide to make a purchase above the five-copy limit. We believe these decisions should be exceptions and made on a title-by-title basis.

Participating libraries and/or individual selectors that adopt the recommended target for multiple copies are strongly encouraged to reallocate collection funds to acquire circulating and sharable collection resources, in order to broaden and deepen I-Share shared resources.

Read the full text of the recommendation.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Number of Copies in I-Share Recommendation