Maine Libraries Lend Each Other a Hand

Bowdoin library collaboration (Illustration credit: Abby McBride)

Illustration credit: Abby McBride

The Bowdoin College Library is taking innovative measures to keep its print collection alive and well—no easy task in an age of infinite digital resources and all-too-limited shelf space. The library is one of eight large libraries across the state that have teamed up to manage their collections collaboratively, in a project called the Maine Shared Collections Strategy.

“We’re analyzing our combined holdings and developing a plan to manage, store, and preserve the titles that are valuable to our communities,” said Judith Montgomery, Acting Librarian at the Bowdoin Library.

Under this plan, each library will be responsible for retaining specific books for statewide use. The coalition is also investigating print-on-demand services, through large digital libraries such as Hathi Trust. “We want to ensure that our scholars and readers have timely access to the print materials they need, while at the same time helping our libraries address critical space issues,” Montgomery said.

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