114 · Representative Documents: On-site Shelving Strategies
Collection Retention Working Group: Report and Recommendations
of moving duplicate format titles from the stacks to the annex, few selectors have considered
withdrawing materials that are reliably accessible in other formats or in trusted repositories.
Many of our current rationales are outmoded and require re-examination.
Collections Retention Policy Working Group and the Space Consultants
In early 2012, space consultants were contracted to provide an assessment of the Libraries’
collections in relation to the use of library spaces. They applied the guiding principles from the
Libraries’ Administration, which focused on student-centeredness, change in usage patterns
from print to digital formats, Special Collections space needs, integration of new technologies,
expansion of curriculum demands in health sciences, STEM discipline space needs, the integrity
of named spaces, employee workspaces, and ongoing space needs assessment.2 Independently,
CRPWG came to similar conclusions however, our recommendations go much further:
The Libraries’ will need additional storage capacity in the near future,3 but if we
increase user space by moving books out of public spaces, the pressure for annex storage
will increase and the available annex space will diminish more quickly than currently
Tangible format collections will continue to grow,4 but we can extend the life of our
current remote storage facilities by evaluating and weeding currently annexed collections
and establishing guidelines or policies for future annexing of materials
Current remote storage facilities do not meet long-term preservation standards,5 which
limits our effective use of the space and our role in consortial or statewide initiatives
The space consultants recommend a team to facilitate shifting large quantities of
materials to the annex however, the Group also recommends expanding the oversight and
responsibilities of this team to facilitate efficient and consistent collection maintenance.
(available at: https://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/toolboxes/companion/intranet/annexstmt.html). This section
provides some guidance but may need to be updated and then evaluated on a regular basis for currency and
2 The Libraries’ Administration has identified Guiding Principles for evaluating our use of library space.
Available at: https://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/groups/intranet/space-planning-team/guiding-principles.html
3 Boomgarten and Straley, p. 18.
4 However, as are leaders in peer libraries, Penn State Libraries’ administration seeks ways to better manage its
physical space during an extended period of rapid technological change, even as the traditional print collections
will continue to grow.“ Boomgarten and Straley, p. 3.
5 “None of the four annex facilities offers the optimal storage environments provided by an HDI-type facility.
Systems appear to provide basic environmental protection, fire safety and physical security, but observations by the
consultants and reports from staff indicate roof leaks, temperature/humidity swings and physical security concerns.
Scientific Stores annex notes the greatest swings in temperature/humidity.” Boomgarten and Straley, p. 19
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