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Shared Print Archive Network (SPAN)

The Council of Prairie and Pacific Libraries' Shared Print Archive Network (SPAN) is a distributed retrospective print repository program. SPAN's main goals are to provide access to shared print archives, create opportunities for the reallocation of library space, and preserve the print record for its members in a cost-effective way. Rather than thinking about the project in terms of preserving the "last copy," this partnership emphasizes the role of the archived print as part of an optimal copy network that includes other print archiving initiatives.

The 20 participating COPPUL libraries have agreed to consolidate and validate print journal backfiles at major library storage facilities and selected campus locations. Selection of titles for inclusion in SPAN will be made using a risk management framework: journals will be categorized as Low- , Moderate- , or Higher-Risk based on their availability electronically, rarity, and relevance to the region (Western Canada).

The COPPUL Shared Print Archive Network Member Agreement (April 2012) outlines the governance of the initiative, as well as the contributions and responsibilities expected from each participating library.

List of participating libraries:

  • Athabasca University
  • Brandon University
  • Concordia University of Edmonton
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • MacEwan University
  • Mount Royal University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Winnipeg
  • Vancouver Island University


Phase Three

Overview of SPAN Phase 3, 2014-2015

Phase 3 documentation for Archive Builders

Call for Missing Volumes Procedures

Phase Two:

Overview of SPAN Phase 2, 2013-2014

Phase 2 Documentation for Archive Holders

Phase 2 Documentation for Archive Supporters

Phase One:

Overview of SPAN Phase 1, 2012-2013

Phase 1 Documentation for Archive Holders

Phase 1 Documentation for Archive Supporters

Publications and Presentations about SPAN:

COPPUL, SPAN 5 Year Report and Recommendations, 2017. Presented at the Septemmber 2017 Director's Meeting. 

 G. Bird, S.Wong, "Consortial shared print archiving: perspectives from Canada," Library Management, 35(1/2), 2014: 45-55. DOI 10.1108/LM-05-2013-0045 Open access version

G.Bird & S.Wong, "Consortial shared print archiving: perspectives from Canada," at Academic Librarian 3, Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 31, 2013. Abstract.

G.Bird & L.Crema, "Do We All Need to Keep That? Shared Print Archiving in COPPUL," at BC Library Conference, Richmond BC, May 10, 2013.

G.Bird & L.Crema, "COPPUL Shared Print Archive Network," to the Print Archive Network, American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, Seattle WA, Jan 25, 2013.

S.Wong, "Shared Print, Shared Knowledge". Feliciter 2012, 58(6): 30-32.

G.Bird & G.Ashoughian, "All together now: planning for shared print archiving at Canada's western universities," Collection Management 2012, 37(3-4), 260-270. DOI:10.1080/01462679.2012.685433 Open access version

For more information, contact:

Doug Brigham
SPAN Coordinator