Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST)

Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust [EAST] is a newly forming print retention partnership of college and university libraries across the Northeast.  The partnership will use a “distributed retention model” whereby libraries become retention partners committed to retaining and sharing designed print copies of monographs and journals for use of the patrons of any of the libraries participating in EAST.

The mission of EAST is to assure scholars, including faculty and students in the Northeast of the United States, have access to the scholarly record of print monographs and print journals and serials through multi-library collaborative arrangements that ensure copies of even infrequently used materials are retained in sufficient number to be readily available.  While electronic copies of many of these materials are increasingly accessible and can more conveniently meet many scholarly needs, the occasional need for access to print copies requires collaborative agreements among libraries to ensure that individual collection management decisions do not eliminate materials to the detriment of scholarly needs.

EAST, formerly known as the Northeast Regional Library Print Management Project, grew out of a series of discussions among more than 100 college and university librarians in the Northeastern United States facilitated by the Five Colleges Consortium beginning in the summer of 2011.  In 2012, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Five Colleges an 18 month planning grant to identify needs and develop business models for such a shared print retention program.  Details of the work of the planning grant including the recommendations of the various working groups are available here. At the conclusion of the plenary meeting held in July, 2014, some 60 libraries in New England, New York and Pennsylvania endorsed a set of recommendations to move forward with EAST. 

In the fall of 2014, the Boston Library Consortium [BLC] agreed to act as the host institution for the EAST project with responsibility for staffing, fiscal oversight, and management of future grant proposals and awards.  A major component of the project will be an analysis of monograph holdings across the libraries who agree to make a firm commitment to EAST.  This analysis will determine overlaps in monographic holdings of the retention partners as well as identify items that are infrequently used.  The BLC and Lizanne Payne, a nationally recognized expert on print retention agreements who has been engaged as a consultant to the EAST project since its inception, are in discussions with Sustainable Collection Services to undertake this collection analysis. 

Over the next few months, the BLC is working to formalize commitments from Northeast libraries who wish to participate in EAST as the first cohort in the collection analysis process and act as retention or supporting partners for the project as well as ensure the necessary grant funding is in place to move EAST forward by mid-2015.  If you are interested in further information on EAST or in joining the project, please contact the Executive Director of the BLC.

The BLC website will continue to update with information on the EAST Project here.