Today: McKeldin CLOSED

MARCOSS Schedule

MARCOSS Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for Off-Site Storage logo

8:45-9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast (Special Events Room McK 6137)

9:30-9:45 Welcome Remarks

9:45-10:40 Keynote Speaker: Jacob Nadal, Library of Congress

11:00-11:45 Roundtable Session 1

  • Preservation Concerns in Off-Site Storage Spaces with Dyani Feige (Mck 6103)
  • Trays and Beyond: Evolving Shelving Methods to Meet the Needs of New Materials with Madde Hoberg (McK 6103)

11:45-1:15 Lunch and Posters (Special Events Room McK 6137)

  • Using Microsoft Access for Offsite Shelving Error Reduction by Rosemary Spellman
  • Using the Native Features of Our ILS to Create an Inventory Management System by Chris Herlein

1:15-2:15 Lightning Talks 

  • There and Back Again: Integrating Special Collections into Offsite Storage by Charlotte Johnson
  • Process-Driven and Site-Responsive: Designing the Library Service Center of Emory and Georgia Tech by Scot Murdoch
  • Mind the Gap: Searching for Lost items in Offsite Storage by Arthur Natishan
  • Harvard not YOUR Style? No High Bay? No Problem. By Ann Snowman and Verne Neff

2:20-3:10 Roundtable Session 2

  • Archival Systems and Off-site Storage with Liz Caringola (McK 6103) 
  • Everyone Goes Home! Staff Safety Within the Collections with Steve Houck (McK 6107)

3:15-3:30 Closing Remarks and Evaluations (Special Events Room McK 6137)

3:30-4:45 Optional Tour of Severn Library


Keynote Speaker

Jacob Nadal

photo of Jacob Nadal

Picture by: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress

Jacob Nadal was appointed Director for Preservation at the Library of Congress in July 2017, responsible for the work of the Directorate’s five Divisions — Binding and Collections Care, Collections Management, Conservation, Reformatting, and Research and Testing — and for helping staff throughout the Library succeed in their mission to sustain access to a rich, diverse, and enduring source of knowledge to inform and inspire people in their intellectual and creative endeavors. Mr. Nadal has been engaged in numerous projects to integrate library storage operations into service networks that can support cooperative print preservation and shared collections access, including work with HathiTrust, the University of California system and the WEST project, and the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP), where he served as Executive Director. Before joining the Library of Congress, he served in leadership roles and developed preservation programs for the New York Public Library, UCLA, Indiana University, Brooklyn Historical Society, and ReCAP.



Liz Caringola

DISCUSSION: “Archival Systems and Off-Site Storage”

Although libraries have been storing materials off-site for decades, archives have only recently begun to send collections off-site. This has major implications for the systems and workflows we use to manage and retrieve materials. At the University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries, we use a combination of systems to make materials accessible at our off-site storage facility. For example, we use Aeon to manage researcher accounts and requests. We are currently split between two management systems as we upgrade from a homegrown Microsoft Access database to ArchivesSpace, which will also be our discoverability system for the public. Additionally, we have print materials that are discoverable via UMD's online library catalog. These systems would ideally integrate in order for patrons and staff alike to have a seamless experience when requesting and managing off-site collections. Our situation is not unique. During this roundtable, participants will discuss the systems they use to manage their archival and special collections materials, as well as the systems-related challenges they face as they move collections off-site. Participants will discuss and brainstorm possible solutions and workarounds for integration and enhanced access.

Keywords: Off-site storage, archives, special collections, collection management, ArchivesSpace, Aeon, Microsoft Access


Dyani Feige

DISCUSSION: “Preservation Concerns in Off-site Storage Spaces”

While many collecting repositories are familiar with preservation considerations for their primary, on-site storage facilities, off-site storage is by definition physically separate and as a result, sometimes less frequently considered in preservation needs assessments, policy development, environmental management programs, emergency preparedness and response efforts, security plans, preservation resource allocation, etc.  The discussion will be led by a preservation professional who will share recommendations for, as well as solicit feedback from, collections staff interested in learning about preservation considerations that impact offsite storage facilities.  The overall goal of the discussion will be to determine achievable tactics for incorporating offsite storage into an institution’s strategic preservation planning initiatives.

Keywords: Preservation, environmental management, emergency preparedness, strategic planning


Chris Herlein

POSTER: “Using The Native Features of our ILS to Create an Inventory Management System”

Using its integrated library system, the Penn State University Libraries Annex is able to track inventory as material is converted from standard call number shelving to being stored in trays whose materials are affixed with location specific barcodes.  The barcodes are drafted and printed by the Annex, and are divided into four parts, each part corresponding to a more precise location.  In the ILS, the Annex barcode us recorded in the record and by using a macro the barcode is parsed into three searchable item category fields. 
Not only does this process keep track of the inventory on the shelf, but it also accounts for material that has been permanently withdrawn from the Annex’s collection by recording the width of the spine.  The withdrawn material results in X number of inches of open space, which can be visualized by exporting the information from our ILS to a planograph.  We can then use this information to run reports telling us exactly which tray has open space and how many inches of open space it has.  After the open space has been filled, the planograph is updated and the item category fields of the withdrawn materials are cleared.  We are able to accomplish all of this at zero cost and still achieve the same function as a commercial product, but without the large upfront price tag and yearly maintenance fees. 

Keywords: Integrated Library System, SirsiDynix Symphony Workflows, Macros, Macro Express, Microsoft Excel, Planograph, Inventory Management System


Madde Hoberg

DISCUSSION: “Trays and Beyond: Evolving Shelving Methods to Meet the Needs of New Materials”

The goal of this round table discussion is to share ideas and experiences with different shelving techniques. By drawing on the experiences of people from many different institutions and storage facilities, participants can hear about practices that were put into place, and how these may have evolved to better store different materials. Questions will revolve around how needs for the majority of the collection has expanded or changed. This will include location naming conventions in item records; environmental storage (including cool or cold storage); unique materials storage containers and strategies (oversize items, archival boxes, picture hanging storage, microfilm/microfiche cabinets); and rarity or security needs of specific collection materials. In our conversation, it is my hope that we can share our various successes and why they worked, as well as problems we encountered and their solutions so that others may not make the same mistakes. This will create a welcoming space for people to reflect on their own work in off-site storage facilities and to take others’ experiences to assist as they problem solve any projects or complications in the future.

Keywords: High-density storage; cool storage; cold storage; shelving methods; storage methods; location assignment


Steve Houck

DISCUSSION: “Everyone goes home!  Staff safety within the collections”

At the Pennsylvania State University Library Annex, staff safety is paramount when working within collection storage areas.  Closed to the public, our unit consists of four separate facilities, three of which are unmanned.  Thorough training, effective communication and the use of safe practices and safety devices is crucial to keeping everyone safe.  A combination of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication ensure all team members are aware of the location of others working within the collection.  This includes recorded and/or verbal communication between staff; flashing beacons at the end of each bay to indicate occupancy within a compact shelving bay; barrier tape at the far end of each range within compact storage bays to prevent unsafe entry into the bay by other staff; and sensors at the base of each range to stop the travel of compact shelving if an obstacle is detected.  Radios are used to keep staff alert to the condition of others who may be using a lift or otherwise working alone.   Well-maintained and appropriately-sized ladders and hydraulic lifts with safety barriers are also used to promote staff safety.  Orange vests, safety cones, and teaming up to move heavy book trucks contribute to the safe transfer of additional material to the collection.  When an issue arises that compromises safety, a blue-colored cone is located at the site to alert library and maintenance staff as to the location of the problem.  Our HelpDesk Ticket system allows library staff to communicate a problem directly to maintenance personnel for evaluation. 

Keywords: Compact shelving, Safety policies and procedures, Safe practices, Staff safety, Equipment


Charlotte Johnson

TALK: “There and Back Again: Integrating Special Collections into Offsite Storage”

The University Libraries have been storing general collection items in offsite storage for several years, but only now are we starting to accession and store special collections items. At Severn Library, we have had to figure out not only how to store special collections which require specialized care, but also develop intake and request procedures. In this talk, I will discuss Severn’s method of handling special collections items and our partnership with UMD Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives department. I will also go over how we distinguish special collections items from general collection items, and go over how I developed the workflow for handling requests for special collections items.

Keywords: offsite storage, special collections, libraries, procedures, workflows


Scot Murdoch

TALK: “Process-Driven and Site-Responsive: Designing the Library Service Center of Emory and Georgia Tech”

How can library storage centers be better planned in response to the site, potential for future expansion, and module capacity? KSS Architects worked collaboratively to design the Library Service Center of Emory and Georgia Tech, responding to a graded site, poor soil conditions, and institutional needs for future expansion via a planning approach that manifested in a creative and practical facility design. By rethinking the Harvard model and adapting a cutting-edge “uber module” to center the design on the processing, all while meeting Factory Mutual standards, the Library Service Center design achieves a model for flexible storage that preserves assets while maximizing investments.

Keywords: storage, processing, facilities, architecture, design, planning, site


Arthur Natishan

TALK: “Mind the Gap: Searching for Lost Items in Off-site Storage.”

Finding misshelved items can be next to impossible. After moving items into our offsite facility we soon discovered that we were getting requests for items that were on shelves we weren’t using. As time went on we realized that there were 2500+ missing items in our collection. Working with our database administrator we created a way of looking for these lost items by searching for gaps in our collection. Using this method we were able to locate a little over 1100 missing items in two months.

Keywords: Lost Items, Gap Project


Ann Snowman and Verne Neff

TALK: “Harvard not YOUR style? No high bay? No problem.”

Out of space in the stacks and off-site, Penn State Libraries created a plan to completely reconfigure the layout of our Library Annexes, comprised of four retrofitted facilities housing 1.6 million volumes, to achieve 20-25 years of growth space using only our ingenuity and the ILS.   Learn how an idea developed into an inventory management system that is integrated with our catalog and the circulation system. Our system tracks empty space, allows us to perform targeted searches, apply mass updates, and run custom reports on our collections shelved off-site. Piloted in 2016 and implemented in 2017, the project is ramping up to full production mode. Over the course of the next seven years, off-site shelving will be completely transformed from a pseudo-shelf list arrangement to a high density tray system and will incorporate new modes of storage.  Shelving will be replaced with compact tray shelving in one facility to maximize storage capacity.

Keywords: Inventory Management System, Space, Reports, Compact Shelving, Integrated Library System, SirsiDynix Symphony Workflows


Rosemary Spellman

POSTER: “Using Microsoft Access for Offsite Shelving Error Reduction”

When items were moved from Moravia to the Libraries Service Center (LSC), some of the locations were
duplicated between the two locations. Some locations are unique to either facility. I would scan the
current LSC location on a tray (which has a barcode corresponding to the RMST--row module shelf tray)
and link that location to the previous Moravia location barcode along with some other identifying
information. A search pattern was developed through trial and error to find mis-filed items: all the trays
on the same shelf, the shelf above and below within the same module, the shelves in the left and right
modules, and the shelves in the rows facing and behind. As was bound to occur, items were mis-filed at
Moravia and not discovered prior to the move to LSC. Therefore, in order to complete a search, one
must know the corresponding Moravia locations in order to complete a search for mis-filed items. This
database was created to provide a way to determine those Moravia locations.

Keywords: Microsoft Access, error reduction