Getting Excited about Collection Management

The Copac Collections Management Tools Project is a collaboration between Mimas, RLUK, and the White Rose Consortium.

A number of partners have been working through and with us here  at Mimas  on a  JISC funded  Collection Management project, which is part of the broader Resource Discovery Taskforce activity

Since we have all been working on this slightly under the radar, and recognising the need to share more about this project and what’s going on, we’re planning series of blog posts to update the community on the progress and lessons learned through the partnetship.  The following update is from Julia Chruszcz, who is project managing this piece of work:

Just two months into the JISC funded Copac Collection Management Project the progress has been significant. At a meeting of the project partners on the 6th May each of the representatives from the White Rose Consortium (WRC) universities (Leeds, York and Sheffield) articulated the potential significance of this tool on their decision making processes around monograph retention and disposal and collection development. This included notions of collaborative collection development and how such a Collection Management Tool could facilitate regional and national approaches, each influencing local decisions for libraries.

The WRC has undertaken the early testing of the web-based tool in an approach that the project has adopted to inform development and iteratively assess the tool.  The idea is to build up a full specification over the life of the project of what will be required to take such a tool forward to introduce into library workflows. The next stage, between now and the beginning of July will be to further develop the batch and web technical interfaces based upon the WRC feedback and for this development to undergo further critical testing. The project is due to provide an interim report at the end of June with full report to the JISC at the end July.

The enthusiasm from all the project partners, JISC, Mimas, RLUK and WRC, stems from the realisation that we have the potential to produce a tool that will make a real difference to helping libraries make informed decisions particularly at a time of financial constraint, and assist in furthering the possibility of a national monographs collection, protecting access for researchers at the same time as facilitating local decisions that will save money and resource longer term. And all this by intelligent re-use and application of an existing extensive database, a resource invested in by RLUK and the JISC over many years, the Copac database.

If this is something you are interested in we’d really like to hear your view point and perspective.