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University at Buffalo Libraries

Libraries Annex Frequently Asked Questions



Q. What is the Libraries Annex?

  • The Libraries Annex, approximately 16,000 square feet in size, is specially constructed to house up to 1.5 million volumes of low-use materials.

Q. Where is the Libraries Annex located?

  • The Annex is located at 3850 Rensch Road across Sweet Home Road from UB's North Campus.

Q. Why does UB need the Libraries Annex?

  • The UB Libraries have exceeded shelving and space capacity on the academic spine. Our on-campus Libraries have room for 72 miles of shelving, but we own 75 miles of materials, over 3.5 million volumes.
  • Our ongoing book and journal purchases require an additional 1.5-2.0 miles of new shelving each year.
  • Print materials must continue to be preserved since experts estimate that only 1% of presently published materials will ever be converted to digital format.

Q. Are off-site library annexes cost effective?

  • Yale University calculates off-site storage costs as less than 10% of the expense of traditional, on-campus library buildings.
  • Traditional library shelving has a capacity of 75,000 volumes in 10,000 square feet of space. Up to 1.5 million volumes can be placed in the same space using high-density storage methods.

Q. What materials will be moved to the Annex, and how are they selected?

  • Older books and journals that are used infrequently are under consideration for transfer.
  • The selection criteria used in deciding which materials to move out of the campus libraries varies depending upon the needs of the academic disciplines.
  • Decisions to transfer materials include consultation with faculty. The Libraries Annex is considered a dynamic collection, which means that volumes may be returned to campus libraries if increased use is evident.

Q . How are materials in the Libraries Annex requested and delivered?

  • Requests for materials located in the Annex may be submitted at any time using an online request form available via the UB Libraries' website.
  • Books are retrieved by Annex staff, and charged out on the same basis as other circulating library materials.
  • In most cases, individual journal articles are transmitted electronically to the requestor's workstation, often within 1 business day. Books are delivered to a campus library or department office within 1 business day.

Q. Is there on-site access for researchers?

  • The Libraries Annex has a reading room for on-site use of library materials. This space accommodates users who need access to long runs of journals or large numbers of books.
  • Virtual browsing is possible via the Libraries online catalog.

Q. Are there examples of successful library off-site facilities?