UM Libraries Partners with UF

The University of Miami and the University of Florida libraries collaborate to establish a shared collection

The University of Miami and the University of Florida have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Collaborative Academic Library Collection, a shared collection that will be housed in Gainesville for long-term preservation and retention of low use or duplicate library materials.

This new partnership between Florida’s largest public and private academic research libraries will benefit students, faculty and researchers at both universities. The catalogs and finding aids for both universities will include the records for the shared collection.

With the majority of journal resources now being electronic, libraries have an opportunity to reallocate valuable shelving space into more user-focused areas. Academic research libraries across the U.S. are moving less-used materials to off-site facilities in order to accommodate new services that promote scholarly communication and to create spaces that support both group and individual study.

“At the University of Miami Libraries, we are repurposing on-campus library real estate to provide advanced academic technology services that support scholarship,” said William D. Walker, dean and university librarian. “We will also be able to provide better access to print materials that are more frequently consulted.”

The shared collection will be housed in a professionally managed, climate-controlled environment to ensure that materials in the collection are preserved. Both libraries will collaborate to make decisions about the storage, retention and preservation of print materials. Requested materials will be processed with quick turn-around times. By agreement, the facility will accept only one set of each bound journal and only one copy of each edition of a monograph. Each item will be cataloged, bar coded and stored according to size in trays to optimize space. Retrieval will be based on a location using the bar codes on the volumes, trays and shelves. The building will house 800,000 to one million volumes in approximately 35,000 square feet of appropriately conditioned space suitable for preserving and storing for retrieval.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the University of Miami libraries on this initiative. The Collaborative Academic Library Collection will integrate little-used print materials from both collections and ensure preservation and cost-effective access to these materials for faculty and students at both universities, “ said Judy Russell, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida. “Although there is some overlap in our collections, each of us has titles that the other does not, so the shared collection will make more titles available to our users, while reducing duplication.”

The Board of Governors has approved, but not yet funded, a high-density storage facility that, once built, will integrate this collection with other low-use print materials from libraries in the State University System. The new facility will include 1.2 million cubic feet of space and hold 5.2 million volumes plus a processing area. Eventually, there will be four modules that will hold 20.8 million volumes.