Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Library Off-Site Shelving: A Guide for High-Density Facilities. (Professional Materials)

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Library Off-Site Shelving: A Guide for High-Density Facilities. (Professional Materials)

Article excerpt

Ed by Danuta A. Nitecki and Curtis L. Kendrick. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 2001. 241p. $60 (ISBN 1-56308-885-1). www.lu.com.

In their introduction to Library Off-Site Shelving: Guide for High Density Facilities, editors Danuta Nitecki and Curtis Kendrick comment: "In this collection of practical reports, our intent is to codify folklore into reference information for those planning or beginning to operate such facilities, as well as to explore with colleagues the opportunities for service improvements this collection management approach offers. We aim to capture in one volume some answers, both facts and opinions, to the more frequently asked questions about building and operating a library shelving facility."

To accomplish their goal, the editors accepted sixteen articles and one bibliography from twenty-two leaders in the library storage field, most from private research university libraries or consortia. In addition, two public university authors, an engineer, an architect, an attorney/ systems designer, and a chief of collections management at the Library of Congress all provide insight into the many components of designing and operating an effective high-density library facility.

The authors share their own insights in an important, introductory article titled: "The Paradox and Politics of Off-Site Shelving." Here they pull no punches about both the internal and external resistance to the development of off-site shelving facilities, and their candor clarifies that this is not an area of academic library service for the faint of heart. Their effort in editing this volume was significant, and it is an excellent start on expanding the debate in our field about this library service frontier. …

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