EAST Collection Analysis of 2011-2021 titles

In late 2023-mid 2024, EAST undertook work with 67 member libraries to analyze titles published or acquired from 2011-2021. Details of this work are outlined below.

Background and Process

In 2016, the first EAST collection analysis project was carried out with our initial cohort of 40 libraries. Since then group and individual analysis projects have grown the EAST membership to more than 170 libraries and the number of retention commitments to over 11 million title holdings. The retention model used for this initial work and with new members joining EAST through 2022 limited the scope of titles to those published prior to 2011.

In 2023, 67 EAST member libraries agreed to participate in the collection analysis project, including libraries from all of the different cohorts of EAST’s development from Cohort 1 to the newest members in the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) consortium. Approximately 7 million titles were included in the analysis.

Over the course of several months the EAST Collection Analysis Working Group and Program Team used the Gold Rush comparison tool to compare the holdings of the libraries participating in the collection analysis project and to consider potential retention criteria.

In addition to analyzing their newer print monographs, the PASCAL consortial members and Villanova University also analyzed and agreed retention commitments for their older print monographs (published pre-2011).

There were also 5 libraries that participated in analyzing their special collections print monograph titles. These titles were analyzed separately to the circulating print monographs and weren’t allocated for retention as part of the work described below. Instead the 5 libraries were provided with custom reports that included the overlap of their stacks with other special collections to see if there were titles they might want to consider moving to specific collections. This is still a work in progress, the results of which will be reported when available.

Retention & Allocation Model

  1. All libraries were asked to retain materials that are unique to their collection i.e. they were the only holder of the title across the 67 participating libraries and no copies of the title were already retained by EAST as a result of previous collection analysis work.
  2. Materials in the EAST ephemera category list were excluded from the retention model.
  3. Material that met the retention criteria, but based on previous collection analysis were material likely to be out of scope for retention were flagged for a separate review.
  4. Based on a review of the Partnership for Shared Book Collections Risk Model Tool and consistent with EAST’s previous policy of retaining up to 5 copies when possible, 5 copies, when available, were retained across the group.
  5. When 2-5 copies are held, all 5 were allocated for retention.
  6. When more than 5 copies are held across the 67 libraries, EAST allocated the 5 to be retained based on two criteria:
    • In an attempt to best ensure titles are distributed geographically across the broad EAST membership, the U.S. census map (divided into two EAST regions, Northeast and South), at least one copy will be allocated per region when possible.
    • As libraries that participated as part of EAST’s Cohorts 1 and 2 as well as the Florida Cohort typically have higher rates of existing retention commitments (as a percentage of their total circulating print collection), EAST allocated retentions to those with a lower percentage of their pre-2011 collection already retained.

While participating libraries were strongly encouraged to consider retaining titles on behalf of EAST it was clear that this was not always feasible. Therefore libraries were asked to consider other local priorities when deciding which titles to retain. To facilitate this process included in the lists of allocated titles were data that libraries might useful in evaluating their title lists:

  • LC Class
  • Language
  • EAST Counts
  • WorldCat Holdings
  • Circ Count
  • Juvenile Lit
  • HathiTrust


4.2 million volumes (850,000 titles) matched the retention model with over 2 million volumes being allocated for retention. Libraries were provided with spreadsheet lists of titles that met the retention criteria and asked to submit to the EAST Program a list of those they were and those they were not willing to retain on behalf of EAST. As of July 2024 approximately 1 million copies have been added to the EAST collective collection, primarily material published between 2011-2021, with several libraries still in the process of reviewing their retention allocations. It’s clear from the results so far that libraries are paying closer attention to reviewing their lists in order to remove out of scope material. Libraries are also optionally checking their ILSs and shelves to identify lost, damaged or missing items.

Working Group

Many thanks to the members of the 2023 Collection Analysis Working Group

Beth BlantonUniversity of Virginia
Todd FalkowskiTrinity College
Tony FonsecaElms College
Annie GlerumFlorida State University
Terese HeidenwolfLafayette College
Anne KoenigUniversity of Pittsburgh
Sarah McCleskeyHofstra University
Teresa NegrucciWesleyan University