Core Library Storage Interest Group

 View Only
last person joined: 22 days ago 

✉ Send an email to to start a discussion or share a file.

About this Group

👐 Anyone can view all content in the group, but only people who join it can post to it. Anyone can join to participate.

Purpose: Provides a forum for exchanging ideas on the planning, design, development, operation, management, and/or dismantling of library collection storage.

Related Groups:

This interest group is part of Core's Buildings and Operations Section.

Portraits of three Core members with caption Become a Member: Find Your Home: Core.


  • 1.  Policies on returning items to main collections from storage

    Posted Dec 07, 2022 01:25 PM

    Hi all,

    I hope the end of the calendar year is treating you well.  Something came up at our libraries recently, and as a result I volunteered to re-evaluate what we refer to as our "Call-Back" policy,  aka permanently returning materials to campus from the offsite storage facility.  Previously, our policy was to return an item if it had circulated a certain number of times or if a librarian or faculty member requested a specific item. The policy pre-dates the construction of our current storage facility, which is staffed and provides retrieval services M-F.

    To my mind, given the continually increasing volume of materials stored out here and ease/speed of retrieval, it no longer makes sense to use number of circulations as a benchmark. For example, I would definitely need to return several titles to our business library using this criteria despite the fact that they no longer keep a physical circulating collection on site.

    Do you have a formal policy for returning items from storage? What criteria do you use? I'd really love to hear what others are doing before I resort to creating something new from the ground up.


    Maggie Halterman-Dess
    Library Annex Coordinator
    University of Iowa Libraries

    Margaret Halterman-Dess
    Library Annex Coordinator
    University of Iowa Libraries

  • 2.  RE: Policies on returning items to main collections from storage

    Posted Dec 08, 2022 02:17 PM

    Hi Maggie,


    We do not have a formal rule for restoring items back to campus permanently, since we'd rather that be an exception than a rule. I think to date I've only restored two books to our campus libraries:

    • One was a book that was specifically requested to come back by our art library.
    • The other was a book that one of my team brought to me because it seemed to be circulating a lot. My boss and I brought it to the attention of the relevant liaison librarian who decided the book was good to have on-site due to its subject becoming more relevant.


    I know this isn't what you asked, but I hope it helps!





    Charlotte M. Johnson (she/her) | @cmjohnsonstvier

    Research Collection Coordinator, ULS Thomas Blvd

    University Library System

    University of Pittsburgh


    Need to talk faculty union? Ask me!

    Libraries Communication and Action Team (CAT) Coordinator

    Union of Pitt Faculty


  • 3.  RE: Policies on returning items to main collections from storage

    Posted Dec 13, 2022 09:53 AM
    Hi Maggie,

    We run a report annually, and any items that have circulated 3 or more times in the past year get returned, since it costs more to retrieve an item from storage than open shelving. We create a spreadsheet of all items that fall into that category and send it to the unit heads of the different departmental libraries. If anyone would like an item in their collection, they can request it. If not, all items are processed for our main bookstacks. There are some exceptions, such as we wouldn't send a special collections item to the main stacks, or send back one serial volume when the set was in storage, for example. We have not run this report since the pandemic, but we plan to after the new year. If my memory serves me, we typically saw 50-100 items a year returned. I hope that is helpful!

    Warm wishes,

    Jennifer Maddox Abbott
    Collection Management Librarian
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign