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Packed in: The UB Libraries Annex has over 1.3 million volumes in high-density storage.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Annex manager, CJ Keough, attaches a safety harness when using the order picker to retrieve materials from the Annex shelves.

Inside the UB Libraries Annex, long rows of free-standing shelves soar three stories overhead, dwarfing staff and visitors alike. Built in 2006 to help alleviate serious overcrowding of book stacks throughout UB’s library buildings, the Annex offers a cost-effective and more efficient use of space than typical on-campus library shelving.

More than one million books, journals, theses, dissertations and microforms fill thirty linear miles of shelving in the Annex – that’s the equivalent of driving from Buffalo to Batavia!  “Moving many of our older, less frequently-used print materials to the Annex has helped free up much-needed space on campus,” says Nicole Colello, Coordinator of Information Access and Delivery Projects for the University Libraries, “allowing us to explore ways that our library spaces can be used to better meet the learning and teaching needs of the UB community.”

Neatly-stacked trays on each shelf hold low-use print materials, many of which are now accessible in digital format.

Neatly-stacked trays on each shelf hold low-use print materials, many of which are now accessible in digital format.

The Annex includes a reading room equipped with a computer, printer and scanner for on-site use; UB students, faculty and staff can also use the Libraries’ popular Delivery+ service to request Annex materials, and the numbers are impressive: in 2013-14, over 15,000 articles were retrieved, scanned, and emailed to library users.

Long rows of adjustable, free-standing shelving units soar three stories high.

Long rows of adjustable, free-standing shelving units soar three stories high.

As the interlibrary loan hub for the UB Libraries, the Annex is far from quiet. “This is where we ship out all of the items that we loan to other institutions,” reports CJ Keough, Annex Manager, “and it’s where we receive items borrowed from other libraries for UB faculty, students and staff.”  The Annex also houses the Empire Shared Collection Repository (ESCR), a collaborative “last copy” depository program which provides continuing access to a shared collection of seldom-used print serials. With its shelves nearing capacity, the next chapter in the story of the Annex is yet to be written. Stay tuned!


Take a video tour of the UB Libraries Annex: