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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beginning May 12 and continuing through the summer, University of Iowa Libraries will be moving 425,000 low-use, older volumes from the Main Library’s basement storage to the new off-site Libraries Annex.

UI Libraries is committed to working with the campus community to ensure access to the stored materials needed for the next academic year. For assistance, please contact your UI Libraries liaison.

As part of the move, the libraries’ circulation records are updated to indicate each item’s new location in the annex. Items are sorted by size and placed in trays to maximize storage capacity. Given the large number of items slated to move, this process will take about one year to complete. As materials are processed, they will become available by request, and all materials will be available for retrieval by May 2018.

How does this affect UI faculty, staff, and students?

To avoid disruptions in your work, UI Libraries urges you to place a delivery request in InfoHawk+ by May 12 for material in the Main Library storage collection that you will need between May 2017 and May 2018.

If you need an item that is unavailable between May 2017 and May 2018, please use UBorrow to request a copy from another library.

Why move these books?

Books should be stored in a stable environment that is 70 degrees, 40 percent relative humidity, away from walls, and at least 12 inches from the ceiling. In addition, books should be kept in low-light conditions in a dust-free area with adequate ventilation and airflow. Our Main Library storage, located in the basement, does not meet these standards. The basement areas are dusty, air circulation and air quality are uneven, and lights are typically left on all day because there is no easy way to turn them off. Items are shelved close to lights and under major pipes and drains. Poor air circulation has caused mold outbreaks at the south end, and leaks from restrooms and a major water line break have occurred.

The Main Library basement flooded in 2008. Even with the UI’s flood prevention work completed since 2008, there is no guarantee the library won’t flood again, and evacuation of materials from the basement is difficult due to the compact shelving configuration.

Materials currently stored in the basement are typically low-use or have online equivalents. They come from all branches, Hardin Library, and Main Library collections and have already been vetted by a librarian as suitable for off-site storage.