Overall, EAST can report a 97% availability rate.  

The aggregated results from both cohorts (312,000 holdings across the 52 libraries) showed:

  • 97% of monographs in the sample were accounted for: mean: 97%, median: 97.1%, high of 99.8% and low of 91%.  (Note: “accounted for” includes those items previously determined to be in circulation based on an automated check of the libraries’ ILS.)  
  • 2.3% of titles were in circulation at the time of the study
  • 90% of the titles were deemed to be in average or excellent condition with 10% marked as in poor condition.  Not surprisingly, older titles were in poorer condition.

A few notable observations include:

  • Items published pre-1900 were in significantly poorer condition - some 45% of these items ranked "poor" on the condition scale
  • An item being in poor condition was also somewhat correlated to its subject area
  • The most significant factor for an item being missing was the holding library.

For a full account of the results, including correlations between age and subject matter to condition of materials, see the Descriptive Analysis of the Validation Sample Study provided by Professor Grant Ritter for Cohort 1, Cohort 2 and a combined analysis.

Validation Sample Study A Deeper Dive into the Data

The Validation Sample Study with Cohort One libraries took place concurrently with the collection analysis being done with SCS. Unfortunately, this meant that the results of the validation study were not yet available to inform the collection analysis model being used to determine which titles libraries would agree to retain (a full description of the retention models is available under the Collection Analysis section of this website).   Of the 240,000 items sampled in the validation study, 92,575 subsequently received retention commitments, providing a large enough sample of the ‘collective collection’ to do statistically valid predictive modeling.

Using data from the Cohort 1 Validation Sample Study and data on the full holdings of the 40 EAST Cohort One libraries, Professor Ritter identified 77,925 titles (.01% of the collective collection at that time) as having a greater than 7.5% chance of being missing or a greater than 50% chance of being in poor condition. These were titles with only one copy being retained by EAST which had unallocated surplus copies at other EAST libraries. These titles were then provided back to the member libraries holding surplus copies with the highest validation scores as potential additional retention candidates.  The majority of these additional copies of at risk titles were accepted as additional retention commitments at Cohort One libraries.

Some 5,000 of the 77,000+ titles were not accepted by the owning library as additional retentions for various reasons, (e.g. not on shelf or the owning library was not willing to take on additional retentions), and approximately 9,000 of the titles determined to be at risk had no surplus copies in EAST Cohort One.  These were eventually passed on as potential retention candidates in Cohort Two, where most were able to be retained.

This is, to our knowledge, the first time that validation sampling has been used to inform retention modeling for shared print.  It is hoped that this type of data can help inform future shared print retention models.