The conference had a central theme of – “when deploying high density storage remote from the main site, how an organisation can still offer quick and convenient access”. This theme is of great interest globally to libraries as they seek to cope with increasing print collections despite the addition of digital collections. Andy explained the British Libraries approach to building high density, automated, low oxygen storage facilities located 270km outside of London. The combination of a logistics infrastructure and integrated technology Library systems allows a 24 hour turnaround for London based readers requesting material located at the northern site.
The approach considers both “collection development” (more informed and judicious acquisition decisions) and “collection management” (management of existing collections). The UK Research Reserve approach is held up as an exemplar model in terms of collaborative storage. UKRR maintains national access while still ensuring a national preservation approach through the provision of back-up copies. The secret is accurate and integrated discovery systems with good holdings information together with a collaborative approach between member libraries, the British Library and Jisc.