Libraries Receive Mellon Grant for Next Phase of WEST Project

Researchers can be assured that the scholarly record will be preserved for future generations through a coordinated system of trusted print archives held at libraries throughout the western United States.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of California Libraries a three-year grant to continue development of the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST), a distributed shared print repository program for retrospective journal archives. More than one hundred libraries participate in the Trust, including UC libraries such as UC San Diego, Stanford University, Arizona State University, the University of Washington, and other members of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), and the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC).

Investigators for the WEST initiative are Laine Farley, executive director of UC’s California Digital Library and Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego. Under the second phase of the WEST program, participating libraries—including UC San Diego Library—will continue to consolidate print journal backfiles at major library storage facilities and at selected campus locations.

During the initial three-year project (Phase 1, 2011-2013), selected WEST “Archive Builders” actively processed approximately 150,000 volumes from 8,000 journal runs (current and previous titles), to allow recovery of the space occupied by potentially millions of corresponding volumes now held in duplicate by partner libraries. During the next three-year project (Phase 2, 2014-2016), WEST will complete two more archiving cycles processing approximately 120,000 additional volumes. WEST will also assess the archiving program and conduct strategic planning with members to identify potential new services for subsequent years and refine the business model to transition to a sustainable, member-supported model.

The governance committees for WEST include an Executive Committee and an Operations and Collections Council composed of representatives from member institutions. They continue to oversee the operation and development of WEST. The California Digital Library (CDL) at the University of California serves as Administrative Host for the WEST program. Primary project staff includes Emily Stambaugh (WEST Program Manager and UC Shared Print Manager,) Lizanne Payne (WEST Planning and Systems Consultant,) and Danielle Watters Westbrook (WEST Collections Analyst and UC Shared Print Collections Analyst.)

The WEST project has developed a robust framework for shared print archives based on risk management principles to ensure long term retention of journal backfiles. Archive Holders in the Trust makes the collections and retention commitments visible at the national/international level.

About the UC San Diego Library

Ranked among the nation’s top public academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Library plays an integral role in advancing and supporting the university’s research, teaching, and public service missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the university library provides access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of faculty, students, and members of the public. Each day, the Library’s vast resources are accessed nearly 90,000 times through the Libraries’ main Web site. For more information: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/

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