UMMS Affiliation

Lamar Soutter Library

Publication Date


Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Libraries, Medical; Periodicals; Library Collection Development


Library and Information Science


Objective: Identify storage and shelving options for the growing print journal collection. Options could include additional shelving in the library, offsite storage, and improvements to the current library remote storage location. Cost, space, and potential impact on patrons and library staff should all be identified. One option will be chosen, and an implementation plan developed and executed.

Methods:A project team worked to identify the extent of the shelving crisis. Inventorying, estimating, and extrapolating were the primary tools used to determine that the library would run out of space in the main journal collection in early 2004. An offsite storage facility was identified for library use and all costs associated with transforming the space into a viable storage solution were identified. The team also evaluated the current shelving layout in the library and developed a plan to add additional shelving in stages. Finally, the costs associated with improving and maximizing the library’s current remote storage location were calculated. This included improved safety, cleaning, painting, and compact shelving. The costs and service ramifications of each solution were compared, along with logistics of moving and merging a portion of the collection.

Results:After careful evaluation, library management determined that improving the current remote storage was cost effective and provided the best option for access and service. Working from our data, we calculated the number of volumes that the storage facility would hold. The project was divided into three phases. The first phase included physically preparing the storage space, installing a third of the compact shelving, writing, and testing move/merge procedures, as well as hiring temporary employees to complete the actual merge. Phases two and three called for additional compact shelving to be installed.

Conclusion:Moving and merging of a collection requires careful plan¬ning, detailed data analysis, and hard physical work. Ideally, you will only do this once. In our case, we knew this option would only be a temporary solution to our space crisis that will take us through the year 2012, at which time we hope to have a new library building with com¬pact shelving throughout.

Presented at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, May 17, 2005.


print journals, shelving, offsite storage

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.