The new library building will have a life of between 40-50 years. We have estimated that in this time, the physical space needed for this many items is 57 kms - which is the distance from North Ryde to Douglas park, south of Campbelltown.These figures take into account that, while some disciplines are becoming more reliant on electronic resources, others still rely heavily on print and other physical resources.
So, how do we continue to make a growing physical library collection easily accessible in the Library in a responsible way? How do we provide meaningful pathways through so much material for students? How do we
provide the best support for the most frequent “finding behaviours”: finding a known item, searching for items on a topic and allowing the accidental discovery of items through serendipity.
We will use a combination of open access shelves and high density storage. The open access shelves will have the capacity for up to 500,000 items. To give you an idea of how 500,000 items relates to our current collection – we have about this number of distinct book titles in the collection now. We will also continue to provide display spaces for new books and new journal issues.
The high density storage system will have the capacity for up to 1.8 million items. This high density storage system is called an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The ASRS will be built as an integral part of the new Library. It is located on the southern side close to Macquarie Drive and there will be viewing windows at the western end . The ASRS will be constructed as a large 1,000 sq m vault occupying about four fl oors. The ASRS consists of an environmentally controlled space with metal bins stored on high industrial racking either side of the aisles, with each aisle served by a robotic crane. The ASRS uses just one seventh the space taken up by open access shelving. Our system will have four aisles and four robotic cranes and will be the first of its kind in a library in Australia.
You will be able to access all of the Library collection from the Library catalogue as you can now. Items will have a location that indicates whether it is on the open access shelves or in the ASRS. If the item is on the open access shelves you will be able to retrieve it yourself as now. If it is in the ASRS you will place a request for it through the catalogue. You will be able to place these requests in the Library, from your office, or from home before you come on campus. Requested items will be available within a few minutes. In many instances this process will be quicker than searching for an item on the shelves yourself.
The first system of the kind we are using was installed at the University of California, Northridge seventeen years ago – and it has survived an earthquake during that time. Our system will be the first installed in Australia by HK Systems Inc., the leading provider of these solutions to the library and archives market.
Statistics from libraries using an ASRS show that the systems have more than 99% uptime. Should there be a problem with retrieval, we will do the same thing we already do when clients can’t locate an item – come up with alternative solutions depending on your need. For Occupational Health and Safety reasons we evacuate the Library when there is a power outage. This will continue to be the case for the new Library.
Yes, we know that browsing is an important way of fi nding material! That is why there will still be a browsing open-access collection of up to 500,000 items. We expect that the majority of items selected for the open access shelves will be books.
We are also working on ways to improve the information you can get about books and audiovisual items in the catalogue to help with your browsing. It is already possible to browse the catalogue by Call Number. With our most recent Catalogue upgrade we have introduced the ability to link an item to further detailed information at Google Books, where Tables of Contents, reviews and jacket information are often shown.
In consultation with Library Committee we have already come up with a set of Collection Storage Principles. These Principles include consultation with each discipline on the choice of items for the open access shelves, based on the criteria identified. This consultation process will begin in July 2009. Library staff are working their way through the collection to colour code material according to some of the criteria. This work will make the consultation process easier. Library staff are also making sure all items have a barcode, which will help identify items more clearly in the catalogue.
The Library has been barcoding since November 2008 as we prepare the collection for the move to a new Library. As we work through each area, it will be closed for a short period of time, and in most cases items will be returned to the shelves later that day or early the following day.
We're getting ready for the new Library
Moving the Library to a new building is a huge
challenge. The new Library offers a fresh
environment with great potential to re-shape
the way we do things to better serve YOU.
Read on ...[pdf 831kb]
Trees, Shrubs & Wildlife: What's happening?
Ecological assessment of the biodiversity,
flora and fauna of the new Library site has been
carried out by a number of specialists and no
threatened habitats or species have been
identified in this area. Read on ...[pdf 1.4mb]
Your Library on the Move: tagging 1.4m items
As the new Library takes shape, Macquarie
University Library is already ' on the move' gearing up for the massive task of ...Read on [pdf 782kb]
Have your say !Join our blog and make a contribution on what you think is important regarding the New Library
Share your story ! As part of the Library 2010 project, Library Friends are collecting Library Stories to commemorate the 40 year history of the current building. If you are interested in sharing your recollections, reflections or remembrances of our Library contact us at email@example.com
This pathway has now been replaced and renamed Wally’s Walk. The saplings on the edges of the pathway have grown to magisterial proportions. These impressive, leafy plane trees now mask the concrete architectural brutalism of that original design. A green canopy that shields the eye and the sky. Read on…