Wagging the Long Tail

Wagging the long tail: Managing print collections in a digital age" held on 3 May 2007


Cathie Jilovsky - "Welcome"
[PDF] 285KB

Bernie Reilly - "The implications of mass digitization efforts for print archiving"
[PDF] 1.7MB

The widespread mass digitization of research library collections presents libraries with an entirely new set of collection management challenges. With the widely publicized recent efforts of Google and Microsoft and the ongoing conversion of newspapers and journals by national libraries and electronic publishers like Thomson Gale and JSTOR, discovery and delivery of a growing share of source materials is provided by search engines and electronic publishers. Hence libraries are now redefining the roles that they -- and their collections -- play in the academic community.

While the precise effect of the mass digitization projects on the demand for print and other tangible collections is still unknown, it is clear that mass digitization creates new opportunity for cooperation among libraries at the national and international levels. If libraries act boldly they can rationalize the preservation and management of information, historical evidence and cultural heritage materials to a degree never before possible.

Helen Livingston - "URRSA: The South Australian experience and what next"
[PDF] 100KB

The three South Australian Universities share a joint store, University Research Repository South Australia, which provides secure, high density accommodation for lesser used volumes transferred from the three university libraries. However the group are now rethinking the possibilities for shared storage and shared collection development utilising the advantages of close physical proximity and shared library systems.

Baden Hughes - "Why Digization Increases the Value of Print Collections"
[PDF] 106KB

In this talk I will explore three key issues which arise in the context of mass digitization efforts like those undertaken by Google, Yahoo and others:
- how can we determine which objects in our print collections are going to be digitized under broad coverage initiatives, and when they will be digitized ?
- if our objects within our print collection are going to be covered, how can we integrate these remotely held digitized objects into our local catalogues as a primary access object ?
- is there a place for local digitization efforts, and what are the competitive advantages of local digitization schemes compared to the larger, better resourced initiatives ?
Together these issues motivate a greater familiarity at a variety of levels with the print collections we have, as well as the need for an increased flexibility on behalf of our resource description, discovery and delivery services. While print collections are becoming more accessible through digitization, I propose that the value of the print collections is enhanced, rather than threatened, and reinforces, rather than replaces the role of the traditional library.

Pentti Vattulainen - "Long print tail management through collaboration – some European solutions"
[PDF] 1.1MB

As more library materials become available electronically, there will be more interest in managing print collections in a less costly way than before. This is because much of the print collections belong to the “long tail” (Chris Anderson) of library material supply. Keeping the long tail available seems to create new perspectives in entertainment business in Internet era, and it is argued that this also applies for libraries. The availability of the long tail improves aggregation of demand and supply in a new way. For libraries it should mean new possibilities to develop services and to support new user groups and to generally improve the value and appreciation of collections.
This paper describes some European initiatives to improve availability of the long print tail. They include institutional solutions mainly in storage of collections, new kind of descriptions of collections and services (based on NISO Metadata Initiative), and development of efficient document supply systems and logistics generally.

Gary Hardy, Robert Stafford, Eva Fisch, Karen Kealy - "Ten years of experience with the CARM repository"
[PDF] 784KB

The CAVAL Academic and Research Materials (CARM) repository has been in operation for 10 years. The CARM repository was established through the collaboration of a number of libraries, and employs a model which is unique in Australia. The operations of the repository are overseen by a committee drawn from the contributing libraries. This paper explores the operation of the repository from the perspective of the members, discusses the major challenges and changes with which the group has grappled, and proposes future directions for print storage regionally and nationally.

Tony Boston - "The 'long tail': implications and opportunities for union catalogues and resource sharing"
[PDF] 2.2MB

Chris Anderson's 2004 Wired magazine article coined the term 'long tail' to describe the fact that in a world of unlimited selection and delivery of material at very low cost via the Internet, people are going deep into the catalogue down the long tail of low and sporadic usage to find rare but valuable items that meet their information need. This presentation will examine implications of the new 'long tail' environment for libraries and particularly for low use print collections. Opportunities to both aggregate supply and aggregate demand for print material via union catalogues and provide better fulfilment for users through end user requesting and home delivery of items from library collections are discussed.

Paul Genoni - "Short shrift for the long tail?: policies, programs and print preservation in Australia"
[PDF] 153KB

This paper will consider the benefits of coordinated national policies and programs designed to ensure long-term access to heritage print collections in Australia. It will discuss the dangers and inefficiencies inherent in the current fragmentary approach to the task, and argue that the economic imperatives of Australian research libraries and the service needs of the research community will be best met by strategies that are nationally planned and implemented. The paper will consider the roles of the main ‘players’ in developing and implementing such strategies in the interests of the nation’s research infrastructure. 

Keynote Speaker - Bernie Reilly

Bernard F. Reilly, Jr. is the president of the Center for Research Libraries, a consortium of North American college, university and independent research libraries. CRL promotes scholarly inquiry and the diffusion of knowledge by providing a framework for the cooperative development, delivery and preservation of scholarly resources. As chief executive officer Reilly plans and directs the Center’s activities, programs and services. From 1997 until 2001 he was director of the Department of Research and Access at the Chicago Historical Society and, prior to 1997, chief curator in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.



Tony Boston | National Libary of Australia

Tony Boston is the Assistant Director-General of Resource Sharing at the National Library of Australia responsible for discovery and resource sharing services to the Australian library community including Libraries Australia, PictureAustralia and the Australian Library Gateway.

Paul Genoni | Curtin University

Dr Paul Genoni is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media, Society and Culture at Curtin University of Technology. Before commencing work as an educator he worked for a number of years in the library at the University of Western Australia, including several years as Law Librarian. He has published widely in a number of professional areas including collection management, reference, scholarly communication and professional development. He is co-editor of Continuing Professional Development: Preparing for New Roles in Libraries (Facet, 2005). He has a PhD in Australian literature, an area in which he also continues to research and write.


Gary Hardy | Swinburne University

Gary Hardy is Associate Director, Information Resources at Swinburne University of Technology, and Chair of the CARM Committee 2005-2006. Prior to Swinburne, he was Director, Centre for Community Networking Research at Monash University, General Manger of VICNET, a community networking enterprise of the State Library of Victoria, and lecturer with the Department of Information Services, RMIT.


Baden Hughes | University of Melbourne

Baden Hughes is a Program Manager in Information Management, Information Services at The University of Melbourne. His responsibilities cover a variety of domains including enterprise information architecture, web services and applications, library systems, business intelligence, enterprise search, information management strategy and project management. Immediately prior he was a research fellow in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at The University of Melbourne, with a focus on researching language technologies, information retrieval and digital libraries. Prior to moving to the university sector he spent over 10 years in roles in Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe and the USA as a project manager, web application architect, internet systems engineer, software developer, network manager and editor. He has published over 40 internationally peer reviewed papers in addition to several book chapters, edited conference proceedings and edited volumes. He serves regularly on the program committees of international conferences in a variety of computer science domains, and on the editorial board of several journals. He also serves in a senior technical advisory capacity to a number of government agencies, and continues to be involved in extensive industry-based consulting.

Helen Livingston | University of South Australia

Helen Livingston is Director Library Services at the University of South Australia. Helen served on the CARM Advisory Committee of CAVAL from its inception until 2001 and has long held an active interest in leveraging greater collection sharing from the existence of "low use" storage facilities.


Pentti Vattulainen | Director, National Repository Library, Finland

Pentti Vattulainen holds master’s degree from the University of Helsinki. He has held various positions in Helsinki and Vantaa City libraries. He is the director of the National Repository Library, which was founded 1989 as a shared national storage facility and interlibrary lending centre. He has written articles on interlibrary lending and resource sharing as well as on collection policy and co-operation. He holds various memberships in national and international library associations. He is the chair of IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Section.

Seminar Details

Collections and space are two of the persistent preoccupations of library managers.

Increasingly our Institutions expect us to be doing clever, social, interactive, space consuming things within the library building. No matter how much our patrons adopt online resources, they keep wanting print, and we keep buying it for them, in ever increasing volume. Discarding is fraught, storage is expensive and largely unco-ordinated across the nation, return on investment for current long term storage methods is a matter for argument. Can we do better? How many copies of any title do we need to keep in our state, in the nation, in the world? Do we need to keep material which has been digitized? What are the likely impacts of the mass digitization projects currently underway?

This one day seminar explored best practice nationally and internationally in the long term storage of our low use print collections, and explored ways forward for preserving the print collections of Australia's libraries into the future. This event was organised by the CARM Centre Advisory Committee and was an Educause 2007 Satellite event - www.caudit.edu.au/educauseaustralasia07/

WHEN? Thursday 3rd May 2007, 10am to 4:30pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne

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