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VIVA: Four Copy Threshold

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

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VIVA Holdings Threshold for Print Holdings as New Purchases Using YBP’s GobiTween

Program Information

Starting in 2015, VIVA member libraries have had the option to begin buying print monographs on an individual basis, but in consultation with each other. This allows members to cut down on the number of holdings per title across the participating institutions, saving both money and space. The two primary goals of this initiative are to build a strong and less duplicative shared collection of titles in Virginia and to responsibly save library space, which is at a premium across the state.

Participating libraries can utilize YBP's GobiTween to review each other's holdings and acquisition activity in real time, allowing institutions to save money and utilize ILL for titles that are purchased "just in case." The suggested threshold is four libraries within the consortium, but it is important to note that this guideline is completely voluntary, as it is recognized that some titles will need to be duplicated beyond four libraries within the consortium to meet local needs. GobiTween will simply enable collection development in concert with other VIVA libraries, and, for those titles that are supplemental or peripheral to an institution's programs, a way to rely on the already robust resource-sharing program within VIVA.  

Institutions interested in joining in the project should contact VIVA ( for further information. Discounts for YBP's GobiTween are available to VIVA members. Please refer to the FAQ below for additional questions about the project. 




What if a faculty member requests a book or if I need a particular title for any reason? This is a completely voluntary program on all levels.  Institutions can order whatever they like based on their populations' needs.
Would this affect my institution's collections for accreditation? There is currently no mechanism for acknowledging a shared set of copies across the consortium, so your institution should likely purchase any titles needed for accreditation on its own.
Is VIVA paying for any of these purchases?

There is no actual shared acquisition - invoices will still go to individual institutions for items selected for purchase.

How does VIVA resource sharing relate to this project? This program relies heavily on the solid resource sharing program already found within VIVA.  Institutions whose patrons do not already make use of ILL may not be good fits with this project, and it should be noted that ILL is not free.  Institutions could of course continue their local purchase on demand programs alongside this program.
Does the threshold mean four copies total or four copies held at different institutions? Individual institutions can use the data however they like for local purchase decisions, but the threshold is generally defined as four copies held at different institutions.  If an institution collects multiple copies, such as at different libraries or campuses, they are only meant to count as one copy toward the threshold.

My library weeds heavily - should we participate?

Since there would be an informal expectation of keeping copies around for some time, institutions that weed very heavily may not be a good fit with this project.

Only some of my institution's acquisitions are represented in Gobi - does that matter? Having as many holdings as possible is ideal.  Although current data is best, your institution could consider doing periodic holding loads into the vendor acquisition system to help fill in the gaps.
My institution already views other libraries' data through Gobi.  Is there an added charge to add another consortium? There is no charge for adding another consortium to GobiTween.
My library is a Coutts library - is there an option for us? The Task Force explored this option with Coutts, but only a few VIVA libraries use OASIS/iPage as their primary acquisition system so it would not likely have the critical mass needed for broad decisions.
Would institutions agree to loan their reference materials so that they could be included in this program? Although institutions are encouraged to lend requested materials whenever possible, lending reference materials would be up to individual institutions.