Council of Prairie and
Pacific University Libraries
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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.
As of May 1, 2012, the 19 participating COPPUL libraries have agreed to consolidate and validate print journal backfiles and monographs at major library storage facilities and selected campus locations. Initial phases will proactively focus on journal backfiles, with a much less managed, optional process for retention and preservation of scarcely held monographs in member library collections. 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). In the future, the Network and archiving program may be expanded to include prospective (i.e. current) collections. The Network was pleased to welcome Grant MacEwan University as it's 20th member on April 1st, 2013.
While each archive holder library will retain ownership of its materials, the holdings are subject to shared management. SPAN is run by a Management Committee that includes representatives from four of the participating libraries and at least one COPPUL director. With support from the COPPUL office, this committee oversees the initiative’s operation and development, works to integrate SPAN with related archiving programs nationally and internationally, recommends solutions related to holdings disclosure and access/delivery, and develops and monitors a process to select titles for inclusion in the SPAN archive. 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.
SPAN Management Committee 2013/2014
SPAN Management Committee Minutes
Publications and Presentations about SPAN
G.Bird & S.Wong, "Consortial shared print archiving: perspectives from Canada," at Academic Librarian 3, Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 31, 2013. (forthcoming) 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.
G.Bird & G.Ashoughian, "All together now: planning for shared print archiving at Canada's western universities," Collection Management 2012, 37(3-4), p.260-270. DOI:10.1080/01462679.2012.685433
For more information, contact:
or Gwen Bird, COPPUL Executive Director