Editorial: Introduction to a Special Issue on Shared Print Storage
Kennan, Mary Anne, Haddow, Gaby, Australian Academic & Research Libraries
Welcome to this special issue of Australian Academic & Research Libraries about shared print storage. The topic was introduced in the March issue by Paul Genoni's review article of international and Australian research and discussion around shared print storage. It presented the major arguments concerning, and initiatives taking place for, shared print storage and provided a prologue to this, our second issue for 2013. The four articles reflect different approaches to the long-term storage of legacy print material, and each asks questions about whether this task is best approached collaboratively or independently.
The first article, also by Paul Genoni of Curtin University, reports on a study of the holdings of a single discipline (Design) by a single institution (RMIT University Library) in order to test for the possibility of a form of distributed national storage in Australia. The study was undertaken using OCLC Collection Analysis software and the WorldCat database. The collection of RMIT University Library is compared with two "groups" of libraries, the first consisting of seven Victorian academic library collections, and the second of three Melbourne-based non-academic libraries considered to have strong Design collections. Conclusions indicate that for this discipline a form of distributed storage is already in place, with the RMIT University Library collection making a considerable and complementary contribution to the state-wide holdings.
Craig Anderson, University Librarian at RMIT University, explores recent developments in the academic library environment. His article, "Avoiding extinction: the case for a national research collection", looks at initiatives that have the potential to support shared last copy/single copy collections. The paper suggests a way forward in the provision of cost-effective, reliable long-term access to print material which may otherwise disappear. Focusing on the preservation of monographs within Australian academic libraries, the article offers some preliminary costs of such an exercise using an existing last copy facility as a case study.
The final two articles look at print storage from the perspective of professional experience. "Out of sight but not lost to view: Macquarie University Library's stored print collection" by Fiona Burton and Maureen Kattau of Macquarie University Library, discusses the library's decision to include an automated storage and retrieval system as part of its move to a new library building in 2011, which has enabled the location onsite of all library holdings and removed the need for offsite or shared storage. Two years after its introduction, the paper reviews client use and feedback and the implications of storing 80% of the library collection in an Automated Retrieval Collection (ARC). …