Guidelines for Cooperative Long-term Storage

Guidelines for Cooperative Long-term Storage
Member Libraries, MIRACL Consortium 10/2004

The member libraries of the MIRACL Consortium, and possibly many other MOBIUS Consortium Libraries, are in need of additional offsite storage space for materials. At many campuses new library space is not being constructed to satisfy the space needs of growing collections, so existing offsite storage sites are quickly filling to capacity. In order to make the most efficient use of cooperative library offsite storage, we need selection criteria for sending items to such a facility. In addition, cooperative collection development among MIRACL and/or MOBIUS Libraries would allow more efficient use of depository space by reducing duplication.

Several decisions about the overall structure or type of cooperative depository storage need to be made. How large of a cooperative will we have? The MIRACL Libraries have expressed interest and perhaps other MOBIUS institutions would like to participate. Another factor to consider is whether to have one central depository like the UM Depository or to have depositories located at additional sites as well such as St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City.

MCDC would suggest the following criteria for sending items to the Depository in the future.

  • Monographs: Two copies of any item should be sufficient at any cooperative level. Additional copies that are no longer needed at individual institutions should be withdrawn from the collection rather than sent to the depository.
  • Periodicals: Low use Journals should be placed in storage. This group should include titles to which electronic access is available. For the MCDC consortium one complete run of a journal title in good condition should be sufficient. For a MOBIUS cooperative two complete runs should be kept in different locations in the state. Periodicals may be the best place to start a cooperative program, possibly starting with JSTOR titles.
  • Superceded Reference Works: No more than two copies of these materials should be sent. Consideration should also be given to relying on other consortia to hold a copy of record for rarely used items. An example of this would be the CRL Reference Books Archive Project
  • Government Documents: Should be handled in accordance with the rules of the Federal Depository Library Program.
  • Print Indexes: For a meaningful reduction of materials stored in a Depository, cooperative storage of a shared set of print indexes will require a full commitment to electronic databases to replace them.

This commitment to electronic databases should be understood within the libraries, but also at the parent institutions. If the libraries lose access to an electronic database due to budget cuts, they will be unable to bring back their old print indexes.

In addition volume counts are very important at many academic institutions, so it will be necessary for libraries to be able to claim ownership of items at a shared depository library. At the very least, individual libraries should be able to claim ownership of items discarded from their collection that were already sent to the depository by another institution. The volume count issue will need to be addressed with campus administrators as well as with various accrediting bodies.

As accrediting bodies update what library statistics to collect, the volume count should become less of an issue. A shared collection development for offsite storage should result in savings of both space and money for each participating institution.

Additionally, the committee thinks that the current depository should be weeded to maximize the use of the space we currently have.

- Approved by Directors, 2004