In 2013, Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) introduced GreenGlass, a web-based tool for managing print monographs. With the initial release, individual libraries could analyse, share, store or withdraw books, by making use of the rich context that GreenGlass provides for each title. Especially valuable was the data on holdings in other libraries—at global, national and regional levels, and among designated groups of comparators. When combined with the library’s own bibliographic, item and circulation data, this enabled subject librarians and project managers to visualise their collections in new ways, using the GreenGlass Query Builder to create interactive queries with immediate results, and to make informed collection management decisions.

GreenGlass Visualisation: Year Published Overlaid with HathiTrust Status

GreenGlass Visualisation: Year Published Overlaid with HathiTrust Status

GreenGlass soon became useful in highlighting and protecting scarcely-held materials. For example: “Show me titles in my collection that are held by fewer than 10 libraries in the country, and have not been digitised by HathiTrust.” Other queries might seek to identify older, rarely-used and widely-held titles: “Show me titles in my collection that were published or acquired before 2005, have no recorded uses and are held by more than 200 libraries globally, including at least three of our top ILL partners.”

In this way, GreenGlass enabled independent action, informed by a collective context.

Since 2013, more than 200 academic libraries in North America have adopted GreenGlass. Lists exported from GreenGlass have been used for data remediation, identification of titles in open stacks to be moved to special collections, protection of scarcely-held titles and controlled withdrawal of surplus copies. It has proven to be a useful addition to the collection management toolkit, saving staff time and improving retention, storage and withdrawal decisions.

Based on comments from librarians and our own new ideas, OCLC/SCS released a new version of GreenGlass in October 2015. This release includes many new features for individual libraries, along with powerful capabilities to support group projects.

We’ll take you through group features in a subsequent post. New features for individual libraries include:

  • Improved Detection of Duplicates, Superseded Editions and Alternate Formats: based on direct access to the OCLC Work ID, which groups related editions into work sets, facilitating comparison of editions and print book/e-book matching. See the first screenshot below.
  • Known Item Searching: by Barcode Number, Bibliographic Record Number, OCLC Number or OCLC Work ID
  • Date Range Searching: now supported for Publication Year and Date Acquired in the Query Builder, as requested by many users
  • Primary Language: this enables analysis and reporting based on the language code designated in the MARC record
  • Expanded item-level display of data: as shown in the second screenshot below, this includes sections for Local Transaction Data, WorldCat Holdings, Formats and details of Comparator Library Holdings. 
GreenGlass: Possible Duplicates List

GreenGlass: Possible Duplicates List




GreenGlass: Extended Item-Level Display

Since 2013, more than 1,200 users have registered for GreenGlass accounts. Librarians continue to make useful suggestions for improvements, and to use the tool in ways we had not necessarily anticipated. A recent example: GreenGlass was used to evaluate titles damaged by a mould outbreak and determine which to replace. Given the number of ideas surfacing from our growing user community, OCLC/SCS plans to form a GreenGlass User Group. The first meeting will take place at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in January 2016, where we look forward to a creative and collaborative discussion.

GreenGlass group functionality is one element in OCLC’s overall strategy to develop services that support the full shared print lifecycle in academic libraries. In the UK, these include support for cataloguing, metadata and holdings management, automated registration of retention commitments, as well as discovery and resource sharing capabilities. Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC’s Chief Strategist, presented on these and other topics related to shared print management at the RLUK Members’ Meeting 2015 at the University of Warwick.

Rick Lugg
Executive Director, Sustainable Collection Services/OCLC

Read more – GreenGlass: Group-level support for print monographs