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VIVA Collections Committee

The Collections Committee investigates products, recommends licensing or renewal, and maintains vendor contacts for VIVA electronic databases and journals.



VIVA Monographic Collection Analysis Project


In 2012-2013, the Steering and Collections Committees discussed a collection analysis for VIVA.  A group of potential pilot participants was constructed from a survey about this project that went out to the Collection Development contacts at all of the VIVA institutions in Spring 2013.  The resulting Monographic Collection Analysis Pilot has included the main (non-health, law, etc.) libraries at twelve institutions across VIVA:  George Mason University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Radford University, Germanna Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, University of Richmond, and Washington & Lee University.

Sustainable Collection Services, a library vendor selected as the best option for the project by the VIVA Collection Analysis Subcommittee in Fall 2013, ingested the bibliographic records, holdings/items, and circulation data from all of the participating libraries’ Integrated Library Systems, normalized the data, and analyzed it for the libraries to review.  This analysis, specifically of the English language, print, non-reference monographs, has shown overlap and uniqueness of holdings within the pilot group, the VIVA libraries not in the pilot group, Virginia as a whole, the United States, and the HathiTrust archive. 

Following this initial analysis, in late 2014, a second run that included the larger public institutions (George Mason University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and Radford University), and a new library participant, The College of William & Mary, was used to create the distributed repository described below.

Project Goals

  1. Pilot a coordinated, consortial approach to collection assessment.
  2. Use the data and analysis to inform future, collaborative collection development.
  3. Identify scarcely-held titles in need of protection.
  4. Begin a discussion about the possibility of reducing unnecessary duplication and saving local space through strategic weeding.
  5. Provide remediated and enhanced records back to the participating schools.


Associated Initiatives

A kickoff meeting for the pilot project was held on Friday, September 13, 2013 at the University of Virginia. Sustainable Collection Services' slides from the session are available here.

A memorandum of understanding for the rare and unique materials found in the main stacks of the participating libraries was approved by the Collections and Steering Committees.

A memorandum of understanding for the widely held materials was approved by the Collections and Steering Committees. In this approach, all title-holdings of the seven original research institutions in the pilot (GMU, JMU, ODU, RU, UVA, VCU, and VT), with the addition of CWM, were split by SCS into two categories:  Safe to Weed and NOT Safe to Weed.  A maximum of two holdings were deemed NOT Safe to Weed for every title currently owned by one or more of the eight participants.  For titles that did not circulate, only one copy was retained.  The copies that are NOT Safe to Weed were specifically allocated to the participating institutions. A searchable list of these protected titles can be found on this page under "Further Resources". This list allows all VIVA libraries to benefit from this work.

A shared e-book purchase was made using data from the collection analysis.

A project with a recommended threshold of four print copies within VIVA started in 2015.

Further Resources

Protected Titles

A searchable database and visualization tool for protected titles is available here. To request all protected titles in a LC class as an excel spreadsheet please email


A Widely Held Retention Commitments Process Document is available for participating institutions. This document includes instructions for using GreenGlass, and supports participating institutions in implementing local workflows in the management of allocated retention titles.






The Evolution of Collaborative Collection Development within a Library Consortium: Data Analysis Applied in a Cultural Context. In Space and Organizational Considerations in Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations, pp. 157–181. IGI Global (2016).

"Collaborating to Build: Using Consortial Collection Analysis to Inform Collection Development”. Against the Grain,vol. 27 (3), pp. 67-70. (2015). Reposted with permission from ATG.

"It’s Not Just About Weeding: Using Collaborative Collection Analysis to Develop Consortial Collections". Charleston Conference Proceedings, 2014: The Importance of Being Earnest. pp 200-212. Slides available here.

Project Team Membership

VIVA/SCS Collection Analysis Local Project Managers

Last Name

First Name





College of William & Mary



George Mason University



Germanna Community College



James Madison University



Mountain Empire Community College



Old Dominion University


Alison (co-chair)

Radford University



University of Richmond



University of Virginia



Virginia Commonwealth University


Gene (retired)

Virginia Community College System



Virginia Tech


Genya (co-chair)

Virtual Library of Virginia



Washington and Lee University








VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).