MasterPlan.doc - Libraries Storage and Relegation Master...

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Libraries Storage and Relegation Master Plan 2002-2007 A Introduction The unprecedented growth in the volume of both printed and electronic scholarly information has posed most academic and research libraries across the world with the question of how to best store their physical collections. Library collections are surpassing their primary buildings’ ability to house them. Open stacks are the most favoured means of storage because, among a host of other reasons, they lend themselves to browsing and the opportunity for users to serendipitously find other items. Compact shelving is one method by which open stacks can be expanded (by about one third) but this has its limitations, as users are required to operate some form of mechanism. Additional problems with this type of storage centre on the weight exerted by them and the densely packed collections that they hold. Many large research libraries also utilise some form of remote storage that allows materials to be arranged in such a manner that a higher volume can be concentrated into a similar floor space. The University of Hong Kong Libraries is no different. We are facing a crisis in our ability to adequately store all of our collections in open, easily retrievable locations that are favoured by our users. The Main Library is crowded and rapidly reaching capacity. A brief walk through the open stacks reveals bulging shelves where books sometimes need to be shelved sideways or are squeezed too tightly leading to their damage. With the exception of the Music and Education Libraries the situation is less dire in the branches. As an example, overall, the Main Library will reach 85% capacity in September 2003 and with no action will be entirely full by the end of 2005. Some materials are already kept in storage areas away from open shelves and users direct access. The first of these can be found in the Main Library Ground Floor compact shelving. The other main remote storage collection can be found in the Hing Wai building in Aberdeen. B Objective The aim of this plan is to provide a blueprint that will allow the Libraries to maximize their ability to stock the growth in their physical collections for the coming seven years, or as far as physically possible if storage capacity cannot extend this far. While this may appear ostensibly simple, it is not. There are many problems and complexities to be overcome. We have a large Main Library and six branches each with varying storage needs. The physical dimensions of the open stacks and the available storage areas are finite. The existing storage areas have not been established as high-density storage. A myriad of formats, shapes and sizes need to be considered. Both Chinese and Western language material are to be considered. A variety of classification schemes are in evidence. Some collections are not classified or even catalogued at all. Current storage facilities are arranged as mini collections replicating their places of origin.
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  • Spring '13
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