UC Berkeley Space Planning for Library Materials

Available space for UC Berkeley Library books and journals is shrinking fast.  Given the current budgetary crisis, there is little prospect of obtaining additional space in the foreseeable future.  The Library needs to begin planning for a time when we have to withdraw one print item for every new print item we acquire.  When this will happen is difficult to estimate, but our best guess is that we will be in a “one-in, one-out” mode in four to five years. 


The pressures on available space are many.  In about a year, the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) will be filled for the most common sizes of materials.  The Phase 3 addition to the SRLF has been put on permanent hold because of the State fiscal crisis.  The RLFs are University-wide facilities, so once the SRLF is full, the materials that would have gone there will be stored in the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF).  This means that the NRLF will fill up in approximately half the time than originally planned.  In addition, UC campuses are increasingly moving books and journals to the RLFs to free up on-campus space for other library and non-library uses.  There are many examples of this on the Berkeley campus.


The UC University Librarians have instituted a number of polices and initiatives to make the best use of the space we have remaining. They have implemented a no-duplication policy between the NRLF and SRLF.  That is, if an item is already stored in one RLF, a duplicate cannot be sent to the other for storage. 


UC Libraries have also joined the Western Storage Trust (WEST) initiative.  See:  http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections.php/2010/09/08/west-the-western-regional-storage-trust. This effort will coordinate member deposits, with a goal of reducing the duplication of titles across these member libraries, thereby freeing up space to ensure preservation and access to other unique materials.


The UC Berkeley Library has created a policy that asks selectors to carefully consider forgoing the purchase of print journals when online is available and long-time preservation is assured.  This policy does recognize that there are cases when a print journal should be purchased in addition to electronic access.  This policy serves two purposes: to preserve available space for materials that are only available in print and to free funding (i.e., the cost of the print) for the purchase of more unique content.  See:



Regards, Bernie