CCM Beta Trial Introductory Events

We recently held events in Manchester and London for members of RLUK to introduce the CCM tools Beta interface and provide some context to those trialling the interface. These included real world case studies, as well as an opportunity for hands on experimentation.

The presentations generated wide ranging discussion about the national context for the CCM tools as well as potential applications. Ideas were flowing as delegates started working with the tools and thinking about how they might be applied within their own local context, with excitement about the opportunities beyond the obvious ones relating to making space on the shelves. This was also an opportunity for us to get initial feedback as delegates began to work with the facilities.

The main elements of the programme are given below; there are links to the presentations as well as background material; hands-on examples are now included on the CCM forum for RLUK members involved in the Beta trial.

The limited scope of current activity means the Beta trial is restricted to RLUK members only, but we will be looking at ways of broadening access as we gather feedback towards the end of the year.

CCM tools Beta Trial: Introductory Event Programme

The National Context

London: Dr. Mike Mertens, Deputy Executive Director and Data Services Manager, RLUK.
Manchester: Michael Emly, Head of Collection Services, University of Leeds Library.

This presentation provided the broader context within which the CCM tools are being used, looking at the changing national landscape as well as the changing role of RLUK.

CCM tools ‘The Bigger Picture’ Slides

Group discussion:

How local decisions can affect the wider national context for collection management. (See Leeds Case study extract).

Case Study 1: Sheffield University

Gary Ward, Head of Capacity Management, University of Sheffield Library.

Gary discussed the way the CCM Tools were used in an actual withdrawal of stock procedure at Sheffield during 2012. The CCM Tools were used to identify last copies amongst titles considered for withdrawal and to identify copies held in eight or more other libraries besides Sheffield, which were then considered candidates for withdrawal. This supported the withdrawal of over 1100 items, freeing significant shelf space, whilst taking into consideration the continued availability of materials for researchers. The presentation covers the background to the case study, the case study itself, the findings and finally some recent developments that have occurred since the case study.

University of Sheffield case study slides

Case Study 2: York University

Ruth Elder, Collection Space Management Co-ordinator, University of York Library.

Ruth addressed the way the CCM tools have been used to support “business as usual” practice at York in the context of creating a “Collection Profile.”  This pulls together a wide range of relevant information into one accessible location in a graphic manner, which can shared with those who it is most relevant to inform their decision making – such as subject librarians, senior library managers and academic departments. The presentation discusses the work flow involved. The Collection Profiles have received a positive reception at York and are now embedded as part of the 5 year Content strategy.  They are encouraging and facilitating discussions between the library and academic departments in regard to evaluating stock selection and use, contributing to more positive collaborative relationships.

University of York case study slides

A more detailed description of the Case Study is also available “Identifying titles for potential purchase using the Copac Collection Management tool

Copac Data: an introduction

Shirley Cousins, Copac Manager, Mimas, University of Manchester.

The way the Copac deduplication is carried out has some implications for the CCM search. This is summarised on the CCM forum for RLUK members. In addition, as a union catalogue Copac is dependent on updates from our contributing libraries, which in turn affects the currency of the picture you see within CCM. Update frequency varies from weekly or monthly for most large institutions, through to historic collections which are and largely unchanging so may only provide an annual refresh. You can check the currency of the data from any institution at:

This page also shows where a library has changed their library system and we are awaiting a reload, so the catalogue has not been updated as recently as would normally be the case.


The hands-on provided an opportunity to follow some structured exercises, plus time for unstructured experimentation. A hands-on worksheet is available to CCM users on the User forum.

Action Planning

There was an opportunity to prepare an Action Plan to take away. You can download a copy of the Action Plan Template for CCM tools.


Keeping the momentum going: the next phase of the Copac Collections Management Project

The Copac Collections Management (CCM) tools project is moving into a new phase, made possible by ongoing funding by Jisc and with the support of RLUK. Until the end of 2013 we will be widening participation whilst encouraging community involvement and reviewing user support requirements. During this phase the prototype CCM tools will be made available to RLUK member libraries and we will be working with participants to gain feedback on the tools themselves as well as on their training and support needs. This will feed into sustainability planning and defining the requirements for any initial CCM tools service.

The CCM tools project has now been underway for two years. With Jisc funding, the Copac team at Mimas, RLUK, Leeds University, and other members of the White Rose Consortium have worked together to design and deliver the CCM Tools, and to engage the broader community in understanding their potential. We have also been exploring strategic concerns about ensuring long-term access to print materials for the research community as a whole.

The community response has been overwhelmingly positive, so in phase 3 we are looking at the requirements for moving towards a service environment. In early summer 2013 we will be making the CCM tools available to a much wider range of Copac contributors, in the form of the RLUK member libraries. We will be exploring what user training and support is required, whilst also encouraging peer to peer support, as the expertise for applying the CCM tools lies within the library community.

The work will continue to the end of 2013 and we’ll be gathering feedback and developing our understanding of what the basic requirements for any future service would be in terms of the interface and facilities, as well as the support infrastructure needed to provide the best environment for users.

RLUK CCM phase 3 Press Release

Final Report on Retention and Preservation

The Final Report on Retention and Preservation (PDF) is now available. This brings together the CCM work on retention and preservation and sets out a series of recommendations which, taken together, would provide the framework required for a distributed National Research Collection of Monographs.

The report includes a proposal for a metadata framework based on MARC tag 583 and the associated vocabulary Preservation and Digitization Actions. The Proposed Metadata Framework (PDF) is also available separately.

Workshop on Retention and Preservation

The Workshop on Retention and Preservation on March 12th was a great success, bringing together 20 people from around the country to consider that subject in depth. The presentations and other related materials are now available on the Project website to support further discussion and a report with recommendations will be produced shortly.

At the start of the day, Michael Emly’s presentation set the issue of preservation and retention within the broader context of the Project and its objectives. He highlighted the hope of moving towards a more strategic approach to decision-making through the Copac Tools. If a framework can be provided which allows libraries to signal what material they intend to retain long-term, whether with respect to individual items or to whole collections, then other institutions will be able to use this data to inform their own decisions, and so best use can be made of scarce resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort. Michael set out the practical agenda for the day’s discussions, but also spoke of the larger agenda which is to develop an agreed national strategy and framework which safeguards long-term access to materials for the scholarly community.

Mike Mertens picked up on this strategic perspective by looking at some similar efforts in the past, particularly through the RSLP and RIN initiatives. The need is broadly understood, the strategic requirements clear, and Mike challenged those present to make sure that the opportunity presented by the development of the Copac Tools translates into an effective national framework for preserving the National Research Collection. The funding environment is less favourable than in the previous decade, so this can only come about by coordinated action “from the bottom up”.

The workshop then took a very practical bent, looking at the information needed to sustain such a system, how it might be recorded locally and how it could be shared within the context of the Copac Tools. The desirability of including data not only about retention and conservation but also about digitisation and the availability of commercially available electronic copies came out very strongly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was unanimity regarding the importance of a mechanism for identifying an institution’s intention to retain an item for the long term. But the willingness of those present to accept Mike’s challenge and engage with the wider strategic agenda also came across very strongly.

In preparation for the workshop delegates were provided with two documents:

A summary of the plenary session is available: CCM Retention & Preservation Workshop: Plenary notes

The Workshop presentations are also available, including feedback from the group discussions.

CCM Web interface

The CCM Web interface has been released to CCM partner and associate libraries; they are trialling the collection management tools in their current form, as well as considering their potential value in supporting a range of collection management tasks. Feedback from the initial testing will be incorporated into ongoing development to support further assessment through case studies, as well as use case development.

The CCM Web Interface has been developed through an iterative process in a collaboration between Copac and the project partner libraries. In the first CCM project a very basic user interface was created, as a proof of concept, to let the partners try out ideas and get a sense of what might be possible. This fed into use case development, which in turn helped guide interface development requirements. This UI was concerned with function rather than form and served its purpose, but needed the background knowledge of the participants to get the best out of it.

We have now turned the initial UI into something that is significantly more user friendly to support wider testing of the facilities. This new user interface is an adaptation of the Copac Beta test UI that was released for public testing in November 2011. By repurposing the Copac Beta UI the CCM project is benefitting from all the background user testing and development that has gone into the Copac UI, as well as giving the Copac development effort a wider impact.

The new CCM UI was released on Jan 27th for testing by project partners and there was a second release on 28th Feb ready for user testing by the new Associate libraries that have joined this phase of the project. As well as focussing on improved user friendliness we have also added some facilities; so at the moment the UI offers:

• live and batch search facilities, including library and region limit option;
• options to deduplicate result sets by ISBN or a range of other fields;
• Copac style record displays;
• pseudo-MARC export including collection information;
• result visualisation in various forms, including holdings map;
• data export for local use in collection analysis;

Whilst the current testing is underway we are reviewing and prioritising potential developments that have been identified by the partner libraries. Development will continue behind the scenes but we will keep the UI stable during the initial testing by the Associate libraries. Once this first stage of testing is complete we will bring on board development requests arising from their work for a new release of the UI.