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This article takes a broad view of the evolution of collecting behaviors in a network environment and suggests some future directions based on various simple models. The authors look at the changing dynamics of print collections, at the greater engagement with research and learning behaviors, and at trends in scholarly communication. The goal is to provide context within which libraries can discuss changing patterns of investment across collection categories. The authors argue that the network is reconfiguring not only individual academic libraries but also the whole library system, as reduced transaction costs facilitate the unbundling of functions and their consolidation in network platforms and with other external service providers.