The Use of High Bay Mobile Storage in a Traditional Special Collections Library: The Zhang Legacy Collections Center at Western Michigan University

CARLSON, Sharon (2014) The Use of High Bay Mobile Storage in a Traditional Special Collections Library: The Zhang Legacy Collections Center at Western Michigan University. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 69 - Library Buildings and Equipment with Rare Books and Manuscripts. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/979
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

The Use of High Bay Mobile Storage in a Traditional Special Collections Library: The Zhang Legacy Collections Center at Western Michigan University

In October 2013, Western Michigan University opened the Zhang Legacy Collections Center, a branch library housing over 30,000 cubic feet of regional historical books, manuscripts, and archival materials. Western Michigan University is the fourth largest public university in the state of Michigan and classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university. The “Zhang” incorporates a traditional special collections research library and reading room with a high density mobile storage system and space for the staff of six full time employees and another ten to twelve student assistants and volunteers. This paper examines the decisions that went into planning a special collections library and reading room which uses high density high bay (32 feet/9.75 meters) mobile storage and brought together collections held in several locations around the campus. Careful planning resulted in a smaller footprint which allowed the branch library to remain on campus rather than having operations in two or more locations with storage at an off-site location. Designed as a LEED silver building, the operational costs have been reduced while at the same time maintaining strict environmental controls with separate storage and work zone climate requirements. There were also significant planning considerations when moving collections from traditional archival shelving in three locations to one central high bay mobile storage system. This paper also examines the planning for the move and how researcher expectations and experiences have changed in this hybrid branch library/storage facility.

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