16 · SPEC Kit 295
As new facilities are built and older facilities are
upgraded, new services and improvements to ex-
isting services have increased access to remote col-
lections. In 1999, eight libraries reported that they
scanned documents and delivered them electroni-
cally. In 2006, 33 libraries reported that the remote
shelving facility delivered documents by e-mail or
FTP and 15 more plan on adding this service in the
near term. It appears that desktop delivery will be-
come the standard delivery method in the next few
years for documents such as articles, book chapters,
and microforms. In addition, many libraries have
improved access to physical items from the remote
shelving facility by increasing the number of deliv-
eries and adding deliveries to more locations.
Although some libraries reported that they are
looking at alternatives to new or expanded remote
shelving facilities, such as weeding collections for
materials that are available digitally, the amount of
new print and other space-consuming materials re-
ceived by libraries continues to require more collec-
tion space. In addition, libraries may want to move
more materials to a remote facility so that new
computer, instructional, or social spaces can be cre-
ated in prime library space in the heart of campus.
The increased use of digital material and the mass
digitization of older works may serve to mitigate
the growth of physical collections in the next de-
cade, but these trends have not yet had an effect on
library planning. As with politics, all library space
planning is local and a solution for one library may
not meet the curricular and research needs of an-
other. However, in this survey we clearly see that
remote shelving facilities continue to be a favored
strategy of ARL libraries facing a space crunch.
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