Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $225,000 to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) for the Shared Print Collection Project, an initiative of PALNI and its partner organization Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) that will inventory the holdings of 34 of Indiana’s academic libraries to identify overlapping and unique resources.
“The information from the Shared Print Collection Project will aid PALNI and ALI in their mission to expand access to information and allow libraries in the consortium to reduce costs and manage their collections better,” said Kirsten Leonard, executive director of PALNI. “Lilly Endowment’s project funding will enable us to acquire the information we need to help strengthen Indiana’s libraries.”
The grant will enable PALNI and ALI to hire a nationally-known firm, Sustainable Collection Services, with expertise in reviewing and evaluating library collections. The shared holdings of the participating libraries amount to nearly seven million volumes. The effort to streamline these collections has the potential to create a significant amount of space in a manner that will not disrupt the experience of library users. This will be one of the largest studies of its kind yet conducted.
“As more of the libraries’ content becomes digital, it is important that we look at print collections differently,” said David Lewis, president of ALI. “We need to ensure that copies are preserved and placed in secure environments, and we need to identify redundant copies that can be withdrawn so that the space they occupy can be used for more critical purposes. This project will accomplish both goals and also should lay a foundation for future collaboration among Indiana academic libraries.”
In addition to identifying redundancies, the study will identify rare books in the collections of participating libraries that deserve special attention. Libraries can then make sure these items are appropriately stored and preserved for the future. The study is also expected to provide new insights regarding how print book collections are used both in individual libraries and across the state. Libraries individually and collectively can use this data as they develop their collections and services going forward.
See Also: Learn More About Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI)
See Also: PALNI OPAC