Remote Shelving Services · 13
other professional assigned to the facility. Fewer
than half of the administrators or librarians work
full-time for the facility; all of the other profession-
als do.
Although there is variation in the services that
each remote shelving facility provides, the core ac-
tivity is processing requests for loans and copies.
Support and/or student staff most often handle
these requests. The average remote shelving facil-
ity had a total of 6 FTE and processed 11,749 re-
trieval requests last year. This indicates that one
FTE can process 1,958 requests per year. The sites
that receive more requests seem to make more effi-
cient use of FTEs. The five sites that filled the most
requests averaged 11.45 FTE and 48,833 requests or
4,265 requests per FTE. It is not clear from the data
if sites that did more article delivery (whether print
or electronic) needed more staff time per request.
Catalog Record
Most respondents reported that the catalog records
for materials in the remote shelving facility are
similar to those for other materials in the library’s
collection. Typically, the name or code for the facil-
ity is in the location field in the item or holdings
record. Many libraries highlight retrieval options
by adding requesting information to the item re-
cord. Some libraries include information in the lo-
cation field and add a note to the item status, for
example, “Location=LDRF, Status=Request item.”
While most respondents want to indicate the “re-
mote” nature of their shelving facility, one report-
ed, “We use a location code that does not suggest
remote storage, since we don’t want to dissuade
users from requesting materials. Plus, it’s not re-
ally remote—only about six blocks from the main
library.” A few libraries (10 or 16%) have made cat-
aloging enhancements to provide more informa-
tion about material in the remote shelving facility,
mainly by providing tables of contents. Others have
developed online finding aids for highly special-
ized or archival collections. Two report that links to
images are provided. Another has created a “…re-
quest form which auto-fills with item information
and includes information on how they will be able
to pick up and use item when retrieved.” Overall,
it appears that additional descriptive information
about materials in remote shelving facilities has not
been a high priority for most responding libraries.
A majority of responding libraries (34 or 55%) re-
ported that they did not involve the user commu-
nity in planning for their remote shelving facility.
Those that did typically worked with their univer-
sity library committees to review plans for the fa-
cility. A few had faculty as active participants in a
facility planning committee, though most decisions
focused on the selection of materials and the servic-
es to be provided. A few libraries reported the use
of surveys and public meetings to discuss facility
planning. One respondent reported extensive con-
sultation with user communities including faculty
and student participation in planning, review and
approval of plans by the university’s library com-
mittee, and solicitation of feedback at presentations
for student and faculty groups.
All respondents retrieve materials from their remote
shelving facility. More than half also make print
copies of items. Copies are frequently scanned and
delivered electronically to the requestor’s desktop.
Some respondents will make photographs of items
in the facility. Fifty-eight percent assist patrons
with identifying items that might be in the remote
facility and verifying citations.
A surprising number of facilities (38 or 61%) al-
low on-site user access. Most of these have reading
rooms with photocopiers (32 or 84%) and comput-
ers (28 or 74%) for public use. A sizeable number
(17 or 45%) have special equipment for viewing
non-print media. Ten have wireless Internet con-
nections and six provide scanners. On-site refer-
ence assistance is provided at eight facilities.
Thirty-four facilities provide some collection
management services. Of these, 11 provide con-
servation treatment including cleaning and wrap-
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