Collaborative Collection Building: Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

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As institutions shape collections to meet current and future needs, effective management of high density storage facilities and collaborative collection building will be vital to the success of academic and research libraries. The Oak Street Library, the University of Illinois's high density storage facility, holds the largest single concentration of library materials on campus with a collection of more than 4 million items. These holdings include transfers from the main book stacks and other departmental libraries on campus, blanket orders and library gifts that are added directly to the Oak Street Library collection, and material held in trust for consortial partnerships. The collection represents collaborative collection building locally between subject specialists, library divisions, and central services, as well as cooperative agreements with consortiums such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Consortium of Academic Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). This article describes building a large collection through unconventional means, demonstrating the benefits of effective collaborative collection building and management of shared and other non-traditionally acquired collections.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Library Resource Sharing
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Collaborative collections
  • collection development
  • high density storage


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