Frequently Asked Questions about Retention Commitments

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding retention commitments.  Please be sure to also read the EAST Major Operating Policies and the Operating Procedure: Replacing Lost or Damaged Items with Retention Commitments, as the information in these documents will answer many questions.
 

Access

1. We've identified an EAST retained item we think should be moved to special collections. Is this acceptable?

While it’s understandable that you might want to consider relocating a rare item to special collections or restrict access to fragile materials, EAST retained materials should be held as an accessible “light archive” with volumes available for circulation to other EAST libraries. This guaranteed access is essential in order for EAST members to rely on retention commitments. However, if moving the item to special collections is unavoidable, please investigate whether it’s possible to find an additional retention copy.  These titles can be included in the EAST reallocation process.

 

2. Are there limitations regarding placing EAST retained items on reserve?

EAST retained items should be available for circulation to other EAST members, but we understand that there may be times when an item is required to be placed on reserve. We ask that in situations where you also own a non-retained copy you consider placing this copy on reserve instead of the retained copy.  

If a title has a history of being on reserve, will be on reserve for longer than a semester, on permanent reserve, or is likely to be a candidate for reserve in the future, you should consider not de-accessioning additional copies or investigating whether it’s possible to find a replacement retention copy, including from another EAST Retention Partner.

The Operational Contact for each Retention Partner is available via the Operations link on the sidebar.

Replacement

3. Is there an expectation that we automatically replace our missing retained items?  What is the process for reporting missing items?   

Yes, it is expected that missing items you’ve committed to retain for EAST will be replaced.  If the item is able to be replaced with a copy with the same OCLC number there is no need to report the change. If an item is not able to be replaced due to cost or availability, or is being replaced by a different edition, please report the old and new OCLC numbers to the EAST Data Librarian (samato@blc.org).*  

While replacing the missing title holdings is the preferred route, if there are items your library has decided not to replace locally (e.g. because it's too expensive or not consistent with collection policies), please follow the semi-annual reallocation process as described here.

 

4. When replacing a missing or damaged copy of a book, do I need to notify EAST of the changed barcode and/or bib record number? Are there directions for how to mark a replacement copy?

As long as the OCLC number remains the same, EAST does not need to know about local changes.  As always, when changing a retention commitment to a different instance make sure that the 583 information is associated with the new holding in your local catalog.  See also EAST 583 Best Practices.  

 

5. If there are a handful of books a month that we can't buy a replacement for should we handle it ourselves by trying to identify another EAST library that owns the title and transferring the retention commitment to them?

Reallocation requests should follow the semi-annual reallocation process as described here.

 

6. We’ve found moldy/water damaged/unrecoverable holdings with retention commitments.

Sorry to hear it!  

Sorry to hear it! If the material is already held under retention at another EAST library, then yes, you may remove the retention commitment.  If it is the only copy held in retention in EAST, an attempt should be made to either acquire the material or add it to the semi annual reallocation process described here.

 

 

*NOTE on reporting OCLC number and/or holding institution changes to EAST:

When making changes in retention commitments that involve new OCLC numbers and/or changes in holding institution, please report these to the EAST Data Librarian, Sara Amato (samato@blc.org).   This process will change once OCLC offers a retention recording mechanism.  It is assumed that these changes will also be reflected in a library’s local catalog.  - 3/10/2017

Retention

7. We’ve identified a category of materials that have retention commitments but that we consider out of scope for this project and not worthy of retention.  What should we do?

Please refer to the “Revoking Retention Commitments Determined to be Out of Scope” section of the EAST Major Operating Policies. The document is also linked from the EAST website under Policies & MOU.

 

8. We’ve discovered that the bibliographic data for an item for which we have a retention commitment does not match the book on the shelf.  Can we withdraw the retention commitment?

If the material is already held under retention at another EAST library, then yes, you may remove the retention commitment.  If it is the only copy held in retention in EAST, an attempt should be made to either acquire the material or add it to the semi annual reallocation process described here.

 

9. Our library did not take part in the collection analysis and does not have an institutional login to GreenGlass. We are interested in weeding based on EAST retention commitments.  How can we discover if a title that we own has a retention commitment at another library?

As of March 2017 the only way to determine this outside of GreenGlass is on a title by title basis using the EAST Retentions Database.   The EAST Project Team is also exploring other solutions, and is awaiting more information on disclosure and discovery in WorldCat.


10. We’ve identified a print monograph title we feel should be committed to retain for EAST.

We encourage EAST Retention Partners to proactively make commitments to print monograph titles they feel should be retained for EAST. A good example is when you’ve already committed to retain volumes 1-8 in a prospective 10 volume set and you decide to acquire volumes 9 and 10. However, your library is under no obligation to either purchase future volumes or make commitments to these items.


11. We see multiple copies of the same titles on our retention lists.  Do we need to retain all copies?  

According to the EAST Major Operating Policies, “Retention Partners are required to retain only  one copy of titles they have been allocated a commitment to retain.” While retention lists may contain multiple copies of the same title, it is up to each library’s discretion which copy, or multiple copies, are retained. Note that SCS allocated retentions at the title level, so retaining more or fewer copies of an individual title does not change the total number of title level commitments to EAST.


12. Do we need to keep all volumes of a multi-volume set?

SCS has been careful to assign retentions to multi volume sets if, and only if, the library holds all volumes.  Libraries are responsible for retaining all volumes of multi volume sets that have been assigned retention commitments.

Transfers

13. If an item which had the retention commitment is missing, can the retention commitment be transferred to a different edition of the same title?  Does this same protocol apply if there is difference in publication date or publisher?

Every effort should be made to replace missing material with the same edition, including from another EAST Retention Partner. This is especially important if the edition has any unique characteristics such as prefaces and/or commentary.  Artifactual copies of the title are always preferred, but print facsimiles are acceptable.  It is only acceptable to transfer the commitment to a different edition of the title in situations where the retention copy is missing, there isn’t another copy of the same edition available within EAST, or the material is determined to be equivalent.   We are trusting members to use their professional judgement in determining if a different edition is functionally equivalent for the retention commitment.

It is also acceptable to do this with a holding with a different publication date or publisher when necessary, following the guidelines above.  Please see the Operating Procedure: Replacing Lost or Damaged Items with Retention Commitments document for further information.

Note that EAST Retention Partners may already hold several editions of the same title.

If you make this change, please report the old and new OCLC numbers.*

 

14. If a bibliographer orders a new edition of a book and indicates the earlier edition can be withdrawn, but that earlier edition has been designated an EAST retention commitment copy, do we have to keep the older edition or can we transfer the retention note to the newer edition?

The EAST Operations Committee would like to review these titles to better understand what types of materials fall into this category, and if they should be considered ‘in scope’ for EAST.  Out of scope materials need not have a retention commitment  (see FAQ #7). If the material is in scope, for the time being please keep the older edition and report the old and new OCLC numbers to the Operations Committee.

 

15. How do I transfer a retention commitment to another holdings record?  How does EAST keep track of these changes?

It is the responsibility of individual member libraries to have a process for recording retention commitments in their local catalogs.  See the EAST 583 Working Group site for guidance on using the MARC 583 field in holdings records for this purpose.  EAST does not need to be informed about retention commitments being transferred to different copies of the same title with the same OCLC number.  

 

16. Per the EAST Major Operating Policies document, Retention Partners needing to transfer large numbers of retention commitments should follow the EAST Reallocation of Retention Commitments Process. How do you define large numbers?

Large is when it is no longer practical for a library to manually search catalogs and databases to identify retention commitments and holdings at other EAST libraries.  Libraries should provide the EAST Operations Committee with a list of the OCLC numbers they wish to transfer.  

Contact the EAST Operations Committee at eastoc@blc.org.

 

17. We are transferring some EAST materials to a shared storage facility.  Can we transfer the retention commitments?

According to the EAST Memorandum of Understanding section 5.1 :

“Retention Partners agree not to sell, discard, donate, or otherwise relinquish ownership or control of any of the retained materials prior to the end of the Retention Period, except to transfer materials to another EAST Retention Partner or with permission of the Executive Committee.”

Therefore, if the shared storage facility is an EAST Retention Partner (e.g. the Five Colleges) and extends lending to all EAST members, materials can be transferred. Retention commitments should be updated in the 583 fields in the local ILS, perhaps adding a 561 field to denote the original holder of the material, and a list of OCLC numbers transferred should be reported to EAST*.  

 

*NOTE on reporting OCLC number and/or holding institution changes to EAST:

When making changes in retention commitments that involve new OCLC numbers and/or changes in holding institution, please report these to the EAST Data Librarian, Sara Amato (samato@blc.org).   This process will change once OCLC offers a retention recording mechanism.  It is assumed that these changes will also be reflected in a library’s local catalog.  - 3/10/2017