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Collections Space and Storage Reallocation Program (Space Reorganization Program)

In October 2003, the CALM Division initiated the Collections Space and Storage Reallocation Program (Space Reorganization Program). The purpose of these projects is to shift, relocate and integrate the collections in the Adams and Jefferson Buildings to relieve overcrowding and provide space to conform with current reading room locations; and to pull specified items for transfer to the Library’s High Density Storage Facility (HDSF) at Fort Meade. The Library’s collections of books and bound periodicals housed in the Thomas Jefferson and the John Adams Buildings on Capitol Hill, consist of approximately 16,000,000 volumes. In addition, the Jefferson Building houses approximately 13,000,000 non-print pieces, such as the microform and machine-readable collections. Every year, the Library receives approximately 300,000 new volumes to add to the collections of books and bound periodicals stored in the Jefferson and Adams Buildings, as well as 350,000 reels of microfilm and machine-readable items. The shelfload of these collections has exceeded its functional capacity of 90%, resulting in the improper housing of books and special format materials throughout the various storage areas in these two buildings. This has resulted in the employment of creative but unorthodox solutions such as double shelving and the establishment of “overflow” areas for dealing with the lack of shelf space. In addition to these crowding conditions, a number of reading rooms have moved recently, and this has resulted in the collections supporting these rooms being in stack areas far from the rooms.

To help alleviate crowded conditions in the collections storage areas on Capitol Hill, and to allow for the relocation of collections to be closer to the reading rooms in which these are served, the Library began transferring entire classes and subclasses of material from the shelves in the Jefferson and Adams Buildings to a HDSF at Fort Meade, Maryland in November 2002. In addition, other select materials are being identified for transfer based on predetermined criteria. To date, the Library has transferred more than 2.7 million volumes to the facility. The transfer of material to the Fort Meade facility will create shelf space, which will permit the relocation of material to conform with current reading room locations. Accomplishing this relocation will require major shifting to redistribute the collections throughout the stack areas. While shifting of entire blocks of material will provide space for reconfiguring collections to be closer to reading rooms in which they are served, and to integrate subclasses currently out of sequence in overflow areas, it will not provide adequate space throughout the collections to get material currently on the floor onto the shelves, and to provide for future growth space in classes and subclasses throughout the collections.

Any questions regarding this program may be forwarded to Ask a Librarian

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  July 22, 2010
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