Information on the Library Storage Project

UNB Libraries is undertaking to move materials this summer to the new storage facility at the back of the Provincial Archives building. The move will create room for the growth of the collection and will allow us to add much-needed study space in the Harriet Irving Library. It is important to note that the materials moved will continue to be listed in Quest and available upon request with a 24-hr turnaround.

All departmental library representatives have been informed of the project and have been invited to share in the decision-making about the items to be removed to storage and those that will remain in open stacks. The candidates for storage at this time are monographs that have not circulated, either out of the library or in-house, since Quest was implemented in 1995.

More detailed information is provided below.


Storage FAQ

As you may know, the extension to the Provincial Archives building will soon be completed. UNB Libraries have secured space in the storage facility (for some 200,000 items) and we are beginning work on a plan to move some materials there during the summer. The impetus for undertaking the project at this time is two-fold: to create room for the growth of the collection and to add much-needed study space in the Harriet Irving Library.

The following FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) provides the details of the plan as they are currently conceived. It also describes the part library representatives are invited to play in the process.

What collections/libraries will be affected?

The intent is that the storage facility will accommodate materials from all three libraries: Harriet Irving, Science and Engineering. Besides circulating materials, space must also be allocated for archival materials, special collections and government documents.

The task of identifying materials for storage is an onerous one, as will be the task of physically moving the items and reorganizing the collection that remains. As a result, the work can only be accomplished in stages. The proposal is to begin this summer with a focus on the 4th floor of the Harriet Irving Library and the Engineering Library. What we learn from this "pilot project" will help us to move forward in coming years.

What materials will be moved to storage?

For this first round, we will be concentrating on monographs, although some special collection materials may also be considered as time and resources permit. Low-use titles are serving as the starting point, not because they are considered unimportant but simply because they are less used at this time and could be housed elsewhere without great inconvenience to library users. These materials will be stored in a controlled environment where their life expectancy will be greater than that for stack materials.

Reports have been run from the library’s automated system identifying all the titles which were in the collection and have not circulated, either out of the library or in-house, since Quest was implemented in 1995. There are approximately 70,000 monographs fitting that description on the 4th floor of HIL alone. There are another 10,000 or so in the Engineering Library. Not all of these books will be moved automatically. Serious consideration must be given to each discipline and to individual titles to identify the best candidates for the move within the context of current teaching at UNB and STU.

Materials housed on the 4th floor of HIL cover these broad subject areas: Political Science, Law, Education, Music, Fine Arts, Language and Literature, Science, Medicine, Agriculture, Technology, Military and Naval Science and Bibliography and Library Science.

Who will decide what moves and how can faculty be involved?

As a first step to identifying the candidates for storage, the liaison librarians will review the Quest reports from their subject areas, noting items to be retained in the stacks. Once their work is done, library representatives, as well as any faculty who may be interested in doing so, will be invited to review the lists and select materials themselves for retaining in the Library. Given the size of some of the lists (e.g. The list for LC class "PR" runs to some 1,500 pages containing 5 to 7 records each), these will have to be reviewed in the Library. Space will be provided for this task.

Generally-speaking, the liaison librarians will deal with the library representatives to ensure that the concerns of each department are taken into account. Other faculty who may be interested in participating in the project should indicate that interest to their library representative who can, in consultation with the liaison librarian, make arrangements for their involvement.

What is the timeline for this project?

The Library is constrained by the realities of the academic calendar when undertaking any large-scale project. The move itself will take place in July and August when students will be hired to pack and move the material. If we get far enough and shelves can be freed up entirely, some will be removed to create seating space and the stacks will have to be reorganized. This work must be completed by the end of August. In order to achieve these targets, the selections from the lists will have to be made, as much as possible, by June 30th. Work of identifying materials can continue after that but whether or not the follow-up work can be done will depend on the resources available.

It is unlikely that the entire 4th floor of HIL can be dealt with this summer. We expect this will be a two-year project. In the second year, it is expected we will move on to other floors of HIL as well as complete the 4th floor (if the latter is not completed this summer).

Is this strictly a storage project? Will any books be deselected as part of this exercise?

Although this IS a storage project, the opportunity presents itself (with the lists) to review some of the materials on the shelves. The candidates for weeding at this time will be: a) duplicate copies of books which are no longer in high demand; b) outdated textbooks; and c) books in poor condition (some of which will be replaced with newer or sturdier copies as required).

It should be noted that, in the case where multiple copies of a title exist, only one copy will go to storage. Different editions of a title will be considered as separate titles.

What access will there be to the storage materials once they have been moved?

The materials will continue to be listed in Quest with a note identifying them as being in storage. They will continue to be available for borrowing with a maximum 24-hr turnaround time (Monday through Friday) when a request is made.

It will also be possible to recall items to the active stacks when a new course or a change in the curriculum requires that the materials be more readily available. The materials for recall would probably have to be identified by June each year so that they can be relocated from storage.