Collection Management Services

Oak Street




Oak Street High Density Storage


The high density storage at the Oak Street Library Facility relies on the use of an industrial lift by certified staff to access materials held in the vaults, as shelving reaches 40 feet high. The acquisition of a new, third lift for the facility, in conjunction with installing mobile shelving in the third vault, is intended to speed up processing, allowing multiple staff in the vaults at any given time. In addition to retrieving materials for patrons, many projects, such as large-scale digitization of collections, require moving large numbers of items both in and out of the facility.

New Lift for Oak Street High Density Storage


General Information

Oak Street High Density Storage opened on October 29, 2004 and primarily houses items with low circulation history.

As the high-density storage unit for the University Library, Oak Street High Density Storage has the unique role of maximizing preservation of the items it houses while simultaneously shelving them strategically to ensure the least amount of storage space is wasted. The vaults that house our collection are climate controlled by our state-of-the-art system to guarantee the ideal temperature and humidity level for maintaining the structural integrity of print resources (about 50° Fahrenheit and 30% humidity respectively). Once items are sent to Oak Street, they are sorted and separated by size to assure an efficient use of space.

By sending items with low circulation statistics to Oak Street High Density Storage, the University Library is opening up more space for patrons to work individually or collaboratively in their information seeking endeavors. Although these volumes have moved their location, patrons will still have access to desired materials after requesting items through the Library's online catalog.

As of 2012, more than three million volumes have been transferred to Oak Street High Density Storage.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do users know if an item is shelved at Oak Street High Density Storage?

All items shelved at the facility have a full bibliographic record in the Library’s online catalog and the location is clearly designated, along with the note "Request Only."

Many of the materials held at Oak Street are also available digitally.


How do users access materials shelved at Oak Street High Density Storage?

Due to the nature of the high-density shelving arrangements at Oak Street, users are not able to browse materials at the shelf. 

Many of the materials held at Oak Street are also available digitally.

Library users can place requests for items via the Library’s online catalog, and designate either a specific library pick-up location or ask to have the material delivered to their office via campus mail.

Requested books are retrieved from the shelves and put into the appropriate delivery service within one business day. The Library's Shipping Department delivers books that have a departmental library or Main Library location designated as the pick-up point within 2 business days of a request being placed. When the book arrives at its designated pick-up location, library staff scans the book’s barcode and the requester’s “My Account” listing in the online catalog is updated immediately to reflect that the book is on hold for pick-up. This also triggers the queuing of an email pick-up notice, which should appear in the requester’s email account overnight.

The Library cannot guarantee a given turnaround time for books that are to be delivered to campus offices via the Campus Mail Distribution unit of Facilities and Services. While Oak Street staff retrieves the requested item, charges it to the requester's account, and puts it into campus mail within one business day, Campus Mail Distribution delivery times may vary, as may the speed with which mail rooms located in non-library campus unit deliver library materials to offices.


What kinds of materials are shelved at Oak Street High Density Storage and how are they selected?

Each individual library unit creates its own set of criteria with which to select volumes that are to be stored in OSLF.  Common methods for selection include analyzing circulation rates based on the last date an item was checked out, the availability of electronic formats, and identifying duplicate copies of items within other library units.


How are materials stored at Oak Street High Density Storage?

"High-density" describes the particular type of shelving and shelving arrangement used to accommodate considerably more material than could possibly be housed on regular library shelving or even in moveable, compact shelving. Rather than being shelved in call number order, materials of like size are placed in trays that are shelved on 40-foot high racks of industrial shelving. An item’s location on the shelves is tracked through a special inventory program by barcode. To retrieve items from these industrial shelving units, Oak Street staff determine where each piece is located based on its barcode and then use a lift to access the appropriate location.


Where is the Oak Street Library Facility?

The OSLF is located at 809 S. Oak Street near the intersection of Oak and Daniel Streets. This location is approximately 8 blocks from the Main Library.

Map of the location of the Oak Street Library Facility


Have other research libraries built similar high density storage facilities?

Links to other University Remote Storage Facility Web Sites