Umbrella 2011: “Store, preserve and retrieve – leave it to the librarians!” (C3)

This group of three speakers focused on information storage and retrieval; two based on institutional repositories and one about physical storage.

Open access and institutional repositories: the University of Glasgow experience
Susan Ashworth

This was my first introduction to institutional repositories and Susan covered it in a very accessible way.  She explained the two routes to open access publishing – Gold and Green and also the drivers from funders towards repositories.

She went on to explain their Enlighten system at Glasgow in which staff are required to deposit full text copies of papers from peer reviewed journals and conference papers.  Helpfully included in their publication policy is a requirement to also provide metadata!  She emphasised that a great deal of advocacy and developmental work is needed to build relationships across the university and encourage academics.

Research repositories: the role of library staff in their management
Jacqueline Wickham – Nottingham
University

The theme of advocacy and encouragement was continued by Jackie who emphasised the need for advocacy and promotion skills for working in a repository.  She also highlighted the need to check copyright agreements closely.

She then promoted the Repositories Support Project who share advice and best practice and it’s all free and impartial!  Contact support@rsp.ac.uk or 08452576860.  They also have website resources and a buddy scheme as well as events.

Another useful resource was UKCoRR – UK Council of Research repositories, again, independent and free with a mailing list of 248 members.

Collaborative storage for Newcastle University
David Errington

The final session was focused on print information.  Newcastle have rented a 22,000 sq foot space, 5 miles from campus.  Originally they had 5,000 linear metres relocated however it was very inefficient use of space with poor lighting.

Initially they were storing lesser used library material, estates furniture, the marine sciences library, and exam desks.  However then central services got approval for new accommodation in a prime city centre location which meant all the records currently stored in their basements would need to go to the offisite store.  As a solution, they extended the rental period which saved money which could then be spent on compact shelving.  Unfortunately, the offices somewhat miscalculated the shelf space they would need.  The first estimate was 200 metres.  There is currently 700m at the store with more to come!

Buying the compact shelving was a long and complicated process as it had to go to European tender with 22 competing tenders to be evaluated.  Issues such as steps and turning circles had to be built into the design but finally they had 24,000 linear metres in the space.

The store has a whole range of different stakeholders but all information is accessed by library staff.  This gave them the control over how they used the space and also highlights their skills in managing information.  As a further development they then moved 85% of the printed journals offsite from the main library to create space for 350 more users in the library building at far less cost than expanding the building.

In the future, they are looking at researcher space at the store and also the possibility of a scanned article to desktop service (copyright permitting!).  As a further innovative idea they are considering also using it as a park and ride facility out to the main campus.

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