Oak Street Library Facility Opens
The Library’s new high-density shelving facility officially opened in October. More than 350,000 volumes have been transferred to the new building, located at 809 South Oak Street in Champaign . It ultimately will house nearly two million volumes and greatly ease crowded conditions in the departmental libraries and Main Library book stacks.
“This is the first module of several in the Library’s long-term plan to preserve our rich print collections ,” says Betsy Kruger, head of circulation. “Additional modules will be built in the future, providing space for a total of 6.8 million volumes.”
According to Kruger, high-density shelving is the current model for research libraries and the solution to information storage and retrieval in overcrowded situations. The Main Library book stacks—10 decks containing nearly 6 million books—reached operational capacity 7 years ago.
The 40,000-square-foot facility uses industrial-type warehouse shelving to house low-usage books and other items. Its “cold-storage” environment protects and preserves materials by utilizing year-round temperature and humidity controls. Items are shelved by size rather than call numbers, packed in trays, and retrieved with a customized forklift.
Users are unable to browse items at the shelf, but the Library is committed to providing online access through full bibliographic records and special search strategies. Materials can be requested via the online catalog at www.library.uiuc.edu/catalog, and delivery is provided to campus offices or the nearest departmental library. For those who need to consult materials on site, both a reading room and parking are available. More information is available athttp://www.library.uiuc.edu/circ/oak/oak.htm or by calling the facility at 265-9476.