The Libraries Annex, a 16,000-square-foot, high-density storage facility, houses more than one million low-use books and journals. This specially-constructed building includes a reading room, document delivery center, staff work areas and parking. Annex materials may be used on-site or requested via the Libraries’ Delivery+ service.
Continuing dependence on developing and maintaining large print collections has compelled many large academic libraries in the United States to address chronic shelving overcrowding and the growing need for learning spaces. There are numerous examples of the diverse storage solutions applied by universities and large public libraries.
A thorough investigation of these possibilities in the last few years has shown that the University at Buffalo Libraries' dire space needs are best served by leasing an off-campus, made-to-order, compact storage facility from a commercial building developer. A report by a SUNY-hired, library space planning expert has corroborated this position.
This new facility is now a reality. Following the general guidelines that Harvard and other institutions have used to build high-density storage facilities, the UB libraries Annex has been constructed and is located on Rensch Road across Sweet Home Road near UB's North Campus.
To relieve overcrowding of book stacks in all of the UB Libraries, and to provide minimal space for continuing growing of collections, the new high-density center will house about 1.5 million volumes. The Annex also includes a reading room, a document delivery center, staff work areas and parking.
Moving materials to the Libraries Annex will provide some opportunities to redesign existing library space to enhance study facilities, computer areas, and learning spaces. However, transferring 1.5 million volumes to the Libraries Annex provides about 10 years of essential growth space for print collections which will continue to require over 75 miles of shelving.