May 20, 2022

A New Position Paper From OCLC Research: “The US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collection: A 2019 Snapshot”

The paper linked below was written by Brian Lavoie, OCLC Research.

From OCLC:

In this position paper, Lavoie traces the contours of the US and Canadian collective print book collection—the collective print book holdings of all libraries in the US and Canada whose collections are registered in WorldCat, the world’s largest shared registry of library collections. Collective collections are growing in importance as a source of intelligence about services that operate across collection boundaries, such as shared print management, group-scale discovery, and resource sharing. This position paper examines the US/Canadian collective print book collection for insight and trends.

Findings include:

  • The collection includes 59.2 million distinct print book publications, based on 994.3 million holdings, and is growing.
  • The collection is becoming more dilute, in terms of holdings duplication.
  • The collection is globally diverse in terms of country of publication and language of content.
  • The collection’s largest regional concentration is in the northeastern US. In most regions within the US and Canada, growth in print book publications exceeded growth in print book holdings.
  • The collection’s size and scope are a result of contributions from all libraries in the US and Canada, not just the leading research institutions.

Direct to Full Text Paper
12 pages; PDF.
DOI: 10.25333/7zjv-jv94.

Direct to PowerPoint Slide of Graphic Embedded in this Post

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.