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Library storage facilities


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From Planning to Construction
to Operation

Texas A&M University Libraries, College Station,
TX, United States

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Copyright © 2019 Wyoma vanDuinkerken, Wendi Arant Kaspar and Paula Sullenger.
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Section 1 Consideration and Planning


1.An Introduction to Storage Facilities: Types and Examples


1.1.Types of Storage Facilities
1.2.Storage Facilities in Practice

2.Planning Strategically for a Storage Facility


2.1.Defining the Need and Making the Case for Proposed Concept
2.2.Environmental Scan
2.3.Identifying Partners and Stakeholders
2.4.Building Collaborations and Communication
2.5.Scoping the Project
2.6.Navigating the Bureaucracy, Approvals, and Funding

Section 2 Building the Storage Facility


3.An Introduction to Construction Methods, Project
Management, and Building a Project Team


3.1.Project Delivery Systems
Appendix 3.1


4.Design and Construction of a Storage Facility Building



4.1.Repurposing a Building
4.2.Constructing a New Storage Facility Building
4.3.Project Site
4.4.Building Areas
4.5.Receiving Room
4.6.Interlibrary Loan Room
4.7.Materials Processing Room
4.8.Break Room
4.9.Stacks Area
4.10.Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning




4.11.Fire Suppression
4.13.Inspections, Punch Lists, and Meeting Objectives
4.14.Grand Opening

Section 3 Preparing for Operations


5.Selecting Equipment, Software, and Hardware to
Support Operations


5.1.Shelving and Equipment
5.2.Archival Software
5.3.Union Catalog
5.5.Barcodes and Labels
5.7.Printer Software88
5.8.Barcode Scanners
5.9.Order Pickers
5.10.Pallet Jacks
Appendix 5.1
Appendix 5.2

6.Staffing the Storage Facility: Organization, Positions, Hiring,
and Training

6.1.Framing Staff Responsibilities at the Transferring Library
6.2.Staffing the Remote Storage Facility
6.3.Other Organizational Considerations
Appendix 6.1

7.Collection Management: Decisions and Selection for
Remote Storage



7.1.Storage Facility Options
7.2.Collection Management and Remote Storage
7.3.Communications With Stakeholders
7.4.Shared Storage Holdings
7.5.Duplication in Storage facilities



Section 4 Transferring and Receiving Materials


8.Moving Collections: The Process From Retrieval to Shipping


8.1.Staffing for the Project
8.2.Making Preparations for Transferring Materials: Space and
Supply Requirements
8.3.Processing Items for Transfer to Remote Storage
8.4.Verifying Suitability for Remote Storage
8.5.Retrieval of Materials from the Stacks
8.6.Updating Cataloging Records
8.7.Shipping Materials to the Storage Facility
Appendix 8.1: List Structures for Sending Material to the Joint
Library Facility
Appendix 8.2: Guidelines for Shipping and Delivery
Appendix 8.3: Transfer Processes Recommendations for Materials
Going to the Joint Library Facility

9.Receiving Materials and Workflow at Storage Facility


9.1.Preprocessing Materials Into the Storage Facility
9.2.Buying, Storing, and Building Trays
9.3.Materials Arriving Into the Storage Facility
9.4.Processing Items in a Storage Facility
Appendix 9.1

Section 5 Sustain Operations


10.Sustainability and Safety of the Facility: Materials,
Personnel, and the Institution


10.1.Environmental Conditions
10.2.Fire Suppression and Prevention
10.3.Emergency Exits
10.4.Maintaining the Library Materials
10.6.Disaster Planning



11.Access to and Delivery of Requested Materials


11.1.Interlibrary Loan
11.2.Reading Room With Reference Services
11.3.Other Potential Services
11.4.Secondary Site for Computer Files and Systems’ Backup
11.5.Planning for the Unexpected


12.Reporting Effectiveness, Return on Investment, and
Preparing for Future Growth


12.1.Statistics and Reporting
12.2.Assessing Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency
12.4.Reporting Return on Investment
12.5.Considering Growth
12.6.Marketing and Building Support

Section 6 Case Studies


13.Case Studies


13.1.Case Study 1
13.2.Case Study 2



Over the past few years, institutions of higher education and academic
libraries have seen change that is both profound and continuous. Colleges
and universities are responding to demands to be more accountable and
responsive to their community’s needs driven largely by technology. The
shift to electronic platforms as a primary mode of information delivery has
changed the research and information needs of clientele and the ways in
which libraries provide for them. In spite of this trend, one sought-after
resource is, surprisingly, physical space on campuses.While colleges and universities are expanding in the online arena, they are also expanding their
institutions physically with new innovation spaces and efforts to accommodate a growing on-site population as well. Research and academic libraries
are not exempt from this trend. Many not only want to repurpose their own
spaces but also find themselves in defense of their existing footprint when
so many other on-campus programs and initiatives are vying for more of
their own. Despite the move toward digital-preferred collection development, many libraries continue to struggle with the space requirements to
store their print collections and strive to meet the demand for more interactive, innovative, and collaborative library spaces. Wood and Walther (2000)
believed that as libraries need to focus their attention away from the historic
ownership of information but rather toward access to and management of
information.1 This movement would allow libraries to create the space
needed to accommodate the demands of their users and provide space for
information commons.
However, Heath reports that “the flow of printed resources continues
unabated with no end in sight” and, as a result, academic libraries, such as
the University of Texas—Austin, continue to add as many as 200,000 print
volumes annually, which creates a shelving demand of almost 10,000 square
feet of library space a year.2 This persistence in collecting print resources is
not unusual, whether to continue to provide access to materials that are not
online, which is true of materials for more interdisciplinary, specialized or
niche programs or to sustain the commitment to archival access for future
generations. There are academic programs where print and hard copy is
desirable, particularly in literary criticism, historical analysis, or fields that
study the book as an artifact.




Not all items are available electronically and sometimes the cost of
acquiring electronic access outweighs the cost of getting the item in print,
particularly if the electronic access is based on a license and annual fee.
According to Hughes, despite the mass digitization efforts by companies,
such as Google, libraries and publishers are not uniformly attempting to
digitize all print materials and the “initial targets are around 12%–15% of the
estimated 65M titles in print.”3 Hughes’ research shows that the emphasis of
digitization programs in libraries focuses on popular items instead of research
material, and the material located in archival collections is essentially ignored.
In addition, legal constraints such as copyright and licensing also affect what
can and cannot be digitized. Ultimately, what this means is that libraries will
continue to purchase print, therefore adding material to their already overcrowded bookshelves. This is contradictory to the belief of patrons, university administrators, and local government officials that all books, articles, and
knowledge in general are available or will soon be available on the internet.
Adding to this stacks space crisis is the continual decrease in the use of
print material and the increase in demand by library patrons to have the
library utilize its space for reasons other than storing low-use print items.
Although the needs for the use of the library space varies depending on the
nature and purpose of the library itself (i.e., academic, public, and school),
there are a number of general space trends seen in all libraries. In particular,
librarians are experiencing an increasing demand to house technology labs,
multimedia rooms, group and individual study rooms, cafés, and learning
commons. Library patrons are not the only people requesting libraries to
reorganize their space. University administrators are beginning to reclaim
space within the library for administrative offices, student services, research
initiatives, or other purposes not related to library functions.This is creating
additional space constraints within traditional brick-and-mortar libraries.
Despite the fact that space is at a premium, there continues to be reluctance among the governing bodies of libraries and their parent institutions
to alleviate the bookstacks crisis by funding construction of new buildings
or additions to existing library buildings. The reason for this reluctance is
twofold. Most libraries, particularly in highly populated areas, are land
locked with no space to grow or build. The second reason is cost. If there is
room to build in highly populated areas, the cost for constructing a new
building or extending the library building is often too high to justify. As a
result, many libraries, particularly academic libraries, are turning to off-site
storage facilities as a solution to alleviate the issues of overcrowded stacks
and demand for more study space.



A major reason libraries are considering off-site storage facilities is that
the construction costs are significantly lower than building in the campus
proper, if such coveted space can be identified. Even in their own spaces,
many libraries are making the tradeoff between existing bookstacks and the
creation of new, spectacular interactive spaces. Murray-Rust (2011) found
that “the cost per volume for construction is $3.75 for a high-density facility versus $13.39 for a standard on campus library construction.” Off-site
storage not only addresses the shortage of building space in populous areas
in cities or on campuses but it also provides a viable alternative to the high
cost of building a traditional library.4 CHEMS Consulting echoed the cost
savings of shelving material in high-density storage facilities versus traditional library stacks. In a study conducted at the University of Melbourne,
the firm determined that “the cost of retaining a low-use item in the main
library at the University of Melbourne was 4 times greater than relegation
to storage.”5
But the cost savings for building an off-site storage facility versus a traditional library is not the only advantage: the cost of storing an item in an
off-site storage facility is also cheaper when compared with traditional
library stacks. According to Courant and Nielson, the cost of storing a book
each year on a traditional library shelf costs $4.26 but this annual cost
decreases to $0.86 to house the same item in a high-density off-site storage
facility.6 One can see that the advantages of off-site storage facilities and
how they can substantially reduce long-term costs.
There are, however, disadvantages to sending items to an off-site storage
facility. One of the primary concerns is reduced access to already low-use
items. It is likely that limiting immediate access to these items and the ability to discover them through browsing will reduce their usage even further.
However, a number of studies have indicated that the use of material being
housed in off-site storage facilities has been steadily increasing and it is
believed that these usages will continually increase.7

The foundation of this monograph will rest on five distinct sections: consideration of and planning for a remote storage facility; building and specifications of remote storage facilities; preparing for operations by defining
workflow, staffing, policies, and processes; transferring collections with a
breakdown of regular operations and collection management; and lastly, sustain operations and preparing for future operations and growth.



The first section will provide background and focus on identifying
the need for an off-site remote storage building, planning, and approval.
Chapter 1 will begin by briefly discussing the history of library storage
facilities and then turning its attention to the types of library storage facilities found across the United States today. It will highlight the institutional,
shared, and regional repositories, what they are, the differences between
them and their advantages and disadvantages when choosing which type to
build. Chapter 2 will provide guidance for scoping the project and moving
through the approval and planning processes.
The second section will focus on the steps and planning once the decision has been made to build a storage facility. Chapter 3 will look at project
delivery systems, phases of a construction project and members of the project team so that the library will understand how construction projects are
managed and flow. This chapter will consider key issues when writing the
request for proposal and what to look for and what to ask during the interviews when hiring an architect to design the building and construction
company that will actually build the facility. Chapter 4 will examine some
starting points to consider when constructing a new storage facility or
repurposing a building to store material and will highlight best practices of
building a storage facility. It will consider topics such as new construction
versus repurposing another building, humidity control and temperature
requirements, fire suppression and the importance of understanding fire
codes and how they impact the physical layout of the building, along with
security, safety, and morale issues of having a handful of employees working
at a remote site away from the main library building. A significant portion
of this chapter will examine the options of shelving units that can be utilized in the facility. Specifically it will emphasize robotic, mobile, and standalone shelving systems and how their layout, height, depth, and weight
when filled with material impact the physical building.
The third section of this manuscript will address preparing for operating
a remote storage facility. Chapter 5 will examine the technology, both hardware and software, needed to operate storage facilities along with the workflow and staffing models needed to operate the day-to-day processes of the
facility. It will also discuss the archival software products available to these
facilities and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using the library’s
current catalog or a “homegrown” software system versus a stand-alone
archival software product used in the market today. This chapter will also
highlight the traditional hardware needed to run archival software products.
It will stress the importance of addressing questions about the need to union



catalog and direct/or indirect interlibrary loan, both of which will directly
affect access to the users. Chapter 6 will move beyond the technology needs
of the facility and will focus on the workflow and the knowledge base needs
of the individuals working in the facility. This chapter will promote the
importance of teamwork, individual ingenuity, and the need for flexibility
and a “can do attitude.” Unlike traditional libraries rarely a storage facility
manager will have the luxury of assigning one employee to only work on
one task. For example, a person who processes material in the storage facility will also be assigned to shelve the books and help out with interlibrary
loan. This type of cross-functional work environment will impact the facility’s staffing model and the very nature of employee that will be needed
when hiring for any position within this facility.This chapter will also highlight critical workflow and processing needs that will be significantly different than what traditional libraries currently use. Chapter 6 will build on the
previous 2 chapters as staffing is dependent on the systems and the defined
workflow. It examines the staffing needs related to operating a remote storage facility, from job analysis, identification of necessary knowledge, skills,
and abilities and defining position descriptions to effectively hiring, training, and managing staff. Chapter 7 will investigate the policies and establishment of the attendant processes needed for effectively operating a remote
storage facility. Chapter 8 will also focus on collection management of
libraries who are sending items to storage facilities. It will specifically look
at best practices on how libraries are choosing material or should be choosing items to send to storage facilities. This chapter will discuss the merit of
sending print and nonprint material, the integrity of the material and its
condition. The chapter will end by reviewing best practices when making
collection management decision.
The fourth section of this book will focus on the materials going to an
off-site storage facility and will be made up of two chapters, which will
examine the core operations of remote storage facilities. Chapter 8 will
focus on transferring and moving items from libraries to storage facilities
and will consider the best practices for moving these items. Issues, such as
boxing items, insuring, and transporting item, may seem simple but far too
often they are overlooked and are often considered after a disaster happens.
The chapter will also discuss the intense work load added to subject selectors, technical services, preservation, and shelving units as they struggle to
prepare materials for storage. The chapter will then turn its attention to
human factors of material relocation. Specifically, far too often emotions get
in the way and librarians, along with patrons they serve, struggle to let



low-use items be relocated in off-site storage facilities. Their fear often
comes from the lack of immediate access to the material once it arrives at
the off-site facility. This fear often leads to a “slowing down” of the material
selection process. This chapter will highlight best practices using the service
leadership model to aid these librarians and patrons through this emotionally heightened times. Chapter 9 will address the transfer of materials on the
receiving side, focusing on the remote storage facility, and examining specialized processes and systems. The transfer of collections can be complex
and problematic as it is often where two distinct organizations intersect and
their disparate policies and processes may not precisely correspond, requiring more oversight and reconciliation.The ongoing transaction and transfer
of materials between two, or more, organizations also necessitates clear and
constant communication.
The final section addresses how to sustain the remote storage facility and
position for the future.The Chapter 10 of this section will focus on sustainability and safety in storage facilities.This section will not only focus on the
humidity and temperature requirements of storage facilities but also the
archival trays, tray and shelving labels, markers, and barcodes all of which
affect the longevity and integrity of the material. Chapter 11 looks at access.
While the assumption with storage facilities is that access to materials is not
its primary mission, there may need to be clear policies and processes around
lending materials or providing access to them through document delivery.
With collaborative agreements, this is critical as there may be multiple
stakeholders from a variety of organizations making demands. Chapter 12
provides guidance about reporting and assessment of operations; with the
potential for so many collaborating organizations, being able to collect data
about operations and effectiveness and report back to various stakeholders
is to be expected. Chapter 12 will also provide some guidance on planning
for the future, how to position the remote storage facility to meet future
demands or directions.
Through the book, there will be case studies, as seen in Chapter 13, and
vignettes that will provide a real-world perspective on various aspects, situations, or roles addressed in the text. One that will look at the joint collaboration between the University of Texas—Austin and Texas A&M University
shared storage facility in Austin Texas and the issues that arose around that
facility. It will highlight workflow processes to help libraries see what was
done and what they could do to avoid some of the pitfalls that arose. A second case study will look at the second joint storage facility that the
University of Texas—Austin and Texas A&M University–College Station



built in Bryan, Texas. After identifying the problems that arose with the
Austin facility, the second case study shows how the shared storage facility
in Bryan was built to address those original issues. These case studies will
help the reader identify and understand possible issues that might arise
when operating a shared storage facility. In addition to cases, each chapter
will also include a Tool Kit with checklists, sample policy statements and
administrative documents, and workflows and procedures among other
helpful addenda. This study will conclude with discussion of questions to
ask and issues to think about in moving forward.

1.Wood PA, Walther JH. The future of academic libraries: changing formats and changing
delivery. The Bottom Line 2000;13(4):173–82.
2.Heath FM. The University of Texas: looking forward: research libraries in the 21st century. Journal of Library Administration 2009;49(3):311–24.
3.Hughes B. Why digitization increases the value of print collections. 2007. Paper presented at
the CAVAL Seminar Wagging the long tail: managing print collections in a digital age,
held on 3 May 2007, viewed 12/15/2015 http://www.caval.edu.au/assets/files/
4.Murray-Rust C. High density storage for libraries. 2011. Available at: www.orbiscascade.
5.Fielden J, Harris C, Hayes H, Schofield A. Optimising storage and access in UK research
libraries: a study for the CURL and the British library. New Review of Academic
Librarianship 2005;11(2):97–152.
6.Courant PN, Nielsen M. “On the cost of keeping a book.” The idea of order: transforming
research collections for 21st century scholarship. 2010. p. 81–105.
7.Reilly Jr, Bernard F. Developing print repositories: models for shared preservation and access.
Managing economic challenges. Council on Library and Information Resources; 2003. 1755
Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.
Payne L. Library storage facilities and the future of print collections in North America. Dublin,
OH: OCLC Programs and Research; 2007.
Seaman S. Collaborative collection management in a high-density storage facility. College
and Research Libraries 2005;66(1):20–7.

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and Planning
Libraries have long been referred to as storehouses of knowledge. It is
expected that they will house the wealth of published information from
academic treatises to government information to creative works and assure
access to and preservation of all of it for the benefit of current and future
With the sweeping changes that have stricken higher education, research
and information, there are no competing priorities, with impetus for libraries to focus on hosting research activities as opposed to just being a warehouse for the research products themselves. This movement for libraries to
provide areas for collaboration and multimedia creation, information commons, and innovations such as 3-D printing and gaming has subsumed the
spaces that once held carefully selected and managed collections. Still, holding to the long-held mission for preservation of and access to information,
libraries have sought solutions to safeguard their collections. In many cases,
they come together for that shared purpose to assure the continued access
to this carefully collected knowledge—through the construction of storage


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An Introduction to Storage
Facilities: Types and Examples
One of the most crucial issues that research libraries continue to face is
related to the vast amount of printed volumes they purchase and the limited space that is available to house this material. Over time, shelves begin
to fill and eventually there is no more room to house the mountain of
books being purchased. Space for collections competes with study space
and the footprint for library services. Historically, to alleviate this space
crisis an academic library either constructs new additions to its existing
building or if it is fortunate, it would be given permission to build a new
departmental library located near the main library. Construction of departmental libraries allowed the main library to transfer subject collections
from the main library to the departmental libraries creating must needed
space. It was this additional construction that allowed libraries to circumvent transferring print collections to storage facilities, whether on-site or
remote, for many years.
Throughout the 1920s library collections continued to grow at an
alarming rate but luckily construction of new buildings or additions was
able to keep up with the demand for new shelving space. However,
ongoing construction of departmental libraries was not a viable option
for most universities or colleges. University administrations and state
legislatures began questioning the reasoning behind the need to continually build new library buildings to house print materials. Additionally,
libraries faced budget constraints particularly during the 1930s and
World War II and in conjunction with soaring building costs and
increased congestion on academic campuses, building new libraries has
become a less and less frequent occurance. Even during the largest
building boom in library history (1967–74) book collections grew a
little faster than the new space to hold them.1 Consequently, by the
1980s and 1990s, many academic institutions around the world began to
consider the off-site storage facility as the most feasible solution to their
space crisis.

Library Storage Facilities
© 2019 Wyoma vanDuinkerken, Wendi Arant Kaspar
ISBN 978-0-08-102754-7
and Paula Sullenger. Published by
Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Library Storage Facilities

Today, there are two different types of library storage facilities that are built
in the United States: each is grounded in either the Harvard model or the
automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) model. These two types of
facilities may be either institutional and cooperative:
1. Institutional storage occurs when one library builds a storage unit, on or
off an academic campus, to house its own material.
2. Cooperative (sometimes called shared) storage occurs when two or
more libraries build a storage unit together to save money. However,
there is no attempt by the two libraries to collaborate on what is placed
in the storage unit, they just share the space. Within the cooperative
model there are varying degrees of cooperation: collaborative, regional
library center, and repository libraries:
Collaborative storage occurs when two or more libraries (not necessarily from the same university) build a storage unit together and
agree on collection management policies, such as format and duplicates, for the material they will be placing in storage.
Regional library storage centers are storage units that have ongoing
specialized collection development responsibility.
Repository library storage units occur when a group of libraries
come together to place items in a storage unit but they transfer the
ownership of the item to the repository storage unit.2

1.1.1 Institutional Storage Facilities
In 2007, of the 68 storage facilities in operation in the United States and
Canada, 79% were classified as institutional. Libraries generally manage
these storage facilities as another location or branch on their campus. Often
the first items to grace the shelves of a storage unit are low-use monographs
or print journal runs that are electronically available. One advantage to
building this type of facility is that the individual library will have complete
control of the building and its operations. The library has the comfort of
knowing that once the item goes onto the shelves in the remote storage
facility, it will remain there until the library wants the item to return to the
main library.
One disadvantage of building an institutional storage facility is that
libraries sometimes do not consider what other storage facilities in the
region may already be holding. As a result, multiple copies of the same book
may be stored in multiple storage facilities without considering the need or

An Introduction to Storage Facilities: Types and Examples


cost to house all these duplicates. A second disadvantage to an institutional
storage facility is related to indirect interlibrary loan. Generally, institutional
storage facilities may not have direct interlibrary loan but rather will receive
requests via email as a third party through their home library. This can slow
down the interlibrary loan process and cause delay in getting the item to the

1.1.2 Cooperative Shared Storage Facilities
The remaining 21% of the 68 storage facilities operating in the United States
and Canada in 2007 are classified as shared or cooperative storage facilities.3
Though multiple libraries may share storage, they often treat the facility like
a secondary shelving space and do not work together to develop a single collection. The facility will end up housing duplicate copies of the same item.3
Although, shared facilities are initially more economical than individual institutional storage facilities, particularly for smaller institutions, they face many
of the same issues that institutional facilities face with one very large exception; deselection or relocation of items back to the home library. This means
a library could place an item into the storage facility and then remove it at
any time, making it difficult for other storage participants to weed their own
collection and rely on the copy placed into the storage facility. This was particularly relevant in storage facilities where participant libraries used the storage facilities as temporary shelving instead of long-term, low-use storage. Collaborative Facility
When libraries take an additional step closer to a collaborative model and
agree on collection management policies for the material being placed into
a storage facility, they are now establishing what is known as a collaborative
facility. Not only do collaborative facilities establish policies on the services
the storage unit will offer to participating libraries and users but they also
create policies related to the following:
•the scope of the subject materials that the facility will receive,
•in what circumstances duplicate titles are accepted,
•the condition of materials,
•the format or medium of materials, and
•circulation and access.
One problem surrounding collaborative facilities is that most libraries
who participate in these types of storage units do not transfer ownership of
the material to the storage facility but prefer to retain ownership for themselves.The legacy idea that the size of a library’s collection is equated with the


Library Storage Facilities

“prestige” of the university, aka rankings, make contribute to this preference.
As a result, shared ownership of the physical piece is often not considered and,
despite duplication policies between the individual participating libraries,
there remains the common practice of institutions contributing copies of
titles already in the storage facility. Rarely will one institution weed material
found in its open stacks because the same material is housed in the collaborative storage facility. Consequently, there is no reduction in duplication of lowuse items between the storage unit and participating libraries. To alleviate the
duplication issue, retention agreements are needed to ensure that items deposited into the storage unit cannot be permanently removed from the facility.
However, rarely are retention policies drafted because collaborators may
struggle with trust and sharing control of their collection to other libraries.
A prime example of a collaborative storage facility is the British Library
Document Supply Center (BLDSC). It was a disposal destination and retention facility of last resort for libraries in the United Kingdom. According to
O’Connor, Wells, and Collier, the BLDSC “has acted as the de facto collaborative national store, keeping at least one copy of items deemed worth
of retention relegated from universities.”4 Regional Storage Facility
If libraries take the next step beyond collection management and move to
producing collaborative collection development policies, they are building
a regional library storage center that will have an ongoing specialized collection development responsibility. Collaborative collection development is
not a new phenomenon in the library world. Libraries of close proximity,
for example, have come together to purchase electronic databases, print
journal runs, and monographs, all in an attempt to save funds. When libraries build a regional storage facility, they parse out a part of their individual
acquisition budgets toward building a specialized collaborative collection
that would be housed in the shared facility. When this is done, libraries also
create retention and purchasing agreements between the participating
libraries so that each participating library knows who is responsible for purchasing what material. Retention and purchasing agreements help to alleviate the concern that on the side of each party should they decide to begin
weeding their main library collection and rely solely on the regional storage
facility’s copy. However, it must be stated that regardless of whether retention or purchasing agreements are in place, there is little if anything a library
can do if it is told to cancel a subscription or if they can no longer support
the operating cost of a storage facility because of a budget crisis. Imagine if

An Introduction to Storage Facilities: Types and Examples


the library was told to get rid of their entire print collection including the
materials housed in the shared facility? Repository Storage Facility
The third type of shared storage building is the repository storage facility.
Up to this point, all libraries that have come together to share a storage
space, whether they are participating in a collaborative collection development agreement or not, but the libraries have all retained ownership of the
items that they place into the storage facilities. However, when libraries
transfer ownership to the storage facility, such as the Five Colleges, the
model of the storage unit changes and a print repository library storage unit
is born. According to Payne:
Bound journals deposited in the Five College Library Depository by any of the four
colleges (but not the state university) become the property of the consortium.
Bound journal deposits are coordinated in order to store the most complete run and
the best copy…Some shared facilities operate as “de facto” repositories; that is, they
establish a no-duplication policy at the shared facility (which may or may not be
enforced) but the individual libraries retain ownership of the stored volumes and
guarantee to make them available to other members. Other members rely on the
guarantee to de-accession from their own collections.5

One the other hand, the National Repository Library of Finland, which
was established in 1989, is a resource shared by all Finnish libraries and
according to its website says “that it is the most economic[al] way of storing
library material.”6 This repository provides permanent book storage for all
Finnish libraries where libraries transfer ownership of items stored in
National Repository Library of Finland to the storage facility. It receives
2.48 to 4.35 linear miles of material from participating libraries each year.
Similar national repositories have been operating in Norway, Estonia, and
France; and one of their primary functions is to reduce cost for storing
library material at a regional and national level.7
The Joint Library Facility (JLF) in Bryan, Texas, operates on this type of
shared ownership agreement. Although ownership is not transferred to the
storage library, items can be requested for use but cannot be removed permanently from the facility’s shelves. If a library wishes to deaccession the
item and reclaim it from the storage facility and return it to its own shelves
and holdings and the item in question is being shared, then the library is
charged for the replacement cost of the piece. As a result, member libraries
are assured that the items will not leave the facility and consequently they
can share these items found on the storage facility shelves.


Library Storage Facilities

To see how a true shared repository can aid its member libraries we look
first to efforts outside the United States. The United Kingdom Research
Reserve (UKRR) combines the central and distributed storage model.
United Kingdom’s higher education institutions pay to become members
of UKRR and operate on the “last three copies” principle. The British
Library retains one copy of an item and at least two other academic libraries
retain their copies of the same item.The other UKRR libraries may dispose
of their copies. The pilot phase of the project had freed 11,000 meters of
shelf space by August 2008. Phase 2 began in 2009 with a goal of freeing
100,000 meters by the end of 2014. The freed space was not found only in
the libraries themselves. Some UKRR members who had been paying for
commercial storage for some of the journal volumes were able to withdraw
these volumes and, thus, free themselves of this cost.8
In Australia, the most coordinated efforts began in the province of Victoria.
CAVAL, originally called the Co-operative Action by Victorian Academic
Libraries but now expanded beyond Victoria and known only by the acronym, was established in 1978 to foster collaboration and cooperation between
member libraries. In 1993 CAVAL received funding to construct the CAVAL
Archival and Research Materials (CARM) Centre, which opened in 1996.
From the beginning CARM allowed depositing libraries to maintain ownership of their materials, but member libraries were encouraged to cede ownership to the consortium and form the CARM Shared Collection. Member
libraries could then discard their own copies of the materials in the Shared
Collection. By 2013 almost 400,000 volumes belonged to the CARM Shared
Collection, out of a facility that could hold one million volumes.When planning began in 2007 for an expansion, “CARM2,” member libraries wanted
no provision for ceded ownership to a shared collection. All depositing libraries retained ownership of their materials in the second module.9
University libraries in Finland, as stated above, can rely on the National
Repository Library to retain older printed materials, allowing individual
libraries to concentrate their material expenditures on current publications
and resources, particularly electronic access.10 The Universities of New
Zealand, a consortium of the eight university libraries, contracted with a
commercial provider to store one copy of low-use print serials for the
country.When a library deposits materials into the storage facility, it notifies
the other libraries, which may then discard their copies.11
In the United States, storage facilities were not a new idea. In 1892,
Charles Francis Adams was credited with being the first person in the

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