Shared print retentions carry with them the assumption of longevity. It can be assumed that questions will arise around the storage environment in which the shared print collections are retained. Additionally, when a group of libraries or programs undertake to coordinate shared print retentions, there may be questions around what storage environments are most appropriate. For some shared print retentions, an efficient, appropriate storage environment may be a service library, in open stacks. For other shared print retentions, it may be advisable to prioritize secure, environmentally regulated space.
This best practice is composed of two sections: (1) a recommended tier system to quickly identify the quality of the storage environment in which a title resides; and (2) recommendations for programs and participants to consider as they determine what storage environments are optimal for their shared print collections.
Recommended storage environments for shared print
This best practice is meant to support shared print program member libraries as they evaluate the storage options available to them. While this best practice makes recommendations that take into account the need for materials to be secure, closed storage facilities with basic environmental regulation (Tier 1 or Tier 2 as outlined in Table 1), not all contributors will have access to that type of environment.
How to expose storage environment information for shared print retentions
Option 1: Record and expose through a directory of retention institutions associated with shared print registries (i.e., directory of facilities in the Print Archives Preservation Registry); a related option is to further expose the tiers as a generated data field in the metadata.1
Option 2: Record and expose through local metadata (i.e., 583 note in disclosure records).
- ALA CORE’s Library Storage Interest Group “Provides a forum for exchanging ideas on the planning, design, development, operation, management, and/or dismantling of library collection storage.” See website at https://www.ala.org/core/member-center/interest-groups/library-storage.
- ALA’s “Caring for Books and Paper” resource list https://www.ala.org/alcts/preservationweek/howto/books_paper.
- Book – “Library Off-Site Shelving: Guide for High-Density Facilities” by Danuta Nitecki and Curtis Kendrick
- Environmental Standards for WEST Archives (2020)
- Library Storage Facilities and the Future of Print Collections in North America (2007). OCLC Research Report by Lizanne Payne
- The Preservation Index and the Time Weighted Preservation Index
Updated: August 2021