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Abstract

In April 2014, eight institutions from the Big Ten Academic Alliance began a one-year pilot study to track costs, workflows, challenges, and opportunities associated with sharing cataloging expertise for languages and resource formats needed across the participating libraries. Data was collected on the levels of staff performing the work (student, staff assistant, librarian), shipping costs, scanning costs, and cataloging costs. In many cases, the overall cataloging costs incurred by participating institutions were less than costs currently associated with options for vended outsourcing. The cost findings were particularly encouraging for textual materials (monographs and serials), which continue to form the bulk of collections. This paper outlines the pilot’s major findings and describes the subsequent implementation of a robust multi-institutional partnership program for sharing cataloging expertise across the consortium.

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