A Statewide Collaborative Storage and Print Repository Model: The Florida Academic Repository (FLARE)

A Statewide Collaborative Storage and Print Repository Model: The Florida Academic Repository (FLARE)

Ben Walker (University of Florida, USA) and Tabatha Pursley (University of Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0326-2.ch006


As space pressures increase across college campuses, libraries are forced to make difficult decisions about their collections. The Florida Academic Repository (FLARE) is a centralized, collaborative storage facility managed by the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries for the twelve public Florida universities and the University of Miami. This project has been in planning since 2007, but began operating a medium-density storage facility for partners in 2012. Although full funding for a true high-density facility has not been received, significant strides and lessons have been learned through the process. Included in this chapter are examples of policies, equipment used, governance structure, and past and future projects.
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Background And Literature Review

The literature review will attempt to provide an overview of what has previously been written regarding high-density storage. By definition, high-density storage consists of shelving items by size, utilizing special cardboard trays, on specially designed shelving units (Leighton & Weber, 1999). These are sometimes called “Harvard” type facilities, because the concept was initiated at Harvard University in 1984 (Graham, 2001). Typically, “Harvard” style facilities also maintain tight temperature and humidity controls (50 degrees Fahrenheit and 35 percent relative humidity), and utilize some form of inventory control software as a means of locating items in the facility (Lane & Dill, 2001). This is necessary because items are no longer in subject classification, and a tray might contain a variety of materials, from a single volume from a series to monographs with multiple subject classifications. Without some means of tracking those items, they would be nearly impossible to locate again. The key to the efficiency of these facilities is the lack of dead space between shelving. On a typical library shelf, there are books of varying heights. That requires the shelf to be set for the tallest book, but creates gaps between the height of the shorter books and the shelf above. In a high-density facility, these gaps are removed because only books of similar height are stored on a shelf. This method, combined with shelves that are 35 feet high, results in significant increases in capacity, estimated at 3.5 times that of a typical library (Lane & Dill, 2001). This allows high-density storage to maximize volumetric efficiency, taking advantage of both the additional height of the shelving and the increase in shelving capacity from storing by height and utilizing the unique properties of the shelving (Lane & Dill, 2001).

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