Variation among Copies of Titles Catalogued as Identical Should Inform Retention Decisions
A Review of:
Teper, J. H. (2019). Considering “sameness” of monographic holdings in shared print retention decisions. Library Resources & Technical Services, 63(1), 29-45. https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.63n1.29
Objective – To investigate the degree to which books catalogued using the same bibliographic record differ and to consider the implications of these differences for cooperative monographic print retention programs.
Design – Book condition survey.
Setting – Academic library consortium in the United States of America.
Subjects – 47 monographic titles, publication years 1851-1922, held by all consortium members and catalogued using the same respective OCLC record number. 625 out of a possible 705 circulating copies of these titles were available for item-level analysis via interlibrary loan.
Methods – Book condition surveys were completed for all items and the resulting sets of assessment data points were analyzed to reveal trends.
Main Results – 3.4% of items analyzed exhibited cataloguing errors (i.e., were catalogued using the wrong OCLC records), 56.8% retained their original bindings, 17.8% were marked to show previous ownership, 95.7% were complete with no missing content, 9.8% had no damage, and 18.9% had received identifiable preservation action.
Conclusion – Books catalogued using the same OCLC record demonstrated many differences when compared at the item level. These differences are important in light of shared print retention programs and highlight a need for inquiry into the number of copies that should be retained to minimize the loss of uniqueness in print materials.
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