Annex Addition Concept Document




Ronald Becker
Jeanne Boyle
Edward Berger
Timothy Corlis
Kristen St. John
Lynn Mullins
Robert Sewell
Farideh Tehrani


The Rutgers University Libraries are in critical need of space for a variety of services, collections and staff. Digital resources are a growing component of libraries, allowing for greater access and range of information for all patrons. Along with these resources, the Libraries continue to acquire books, archival collections, and other media to meet the curricular and research needs of the university. Many of these traditional media continue to grow and form the base of some of the Libraries most unique and important holdings. One example is the Institute for Jazz Studies with its collections of books, recordings, and manuscript collections serving scholars around the world.

Along with increased holdings, the Libraries are being called upon to provide more services and quicker information access to the university community as well. Where libraries used to consist of stack areas and reading rooms, the demand for more computer laboratories; the need for group study rooms; and wired classrooms for instruction grows. As space is transformed to these others uses, alternate space must be found or created to house our growing collections.

An addition to the existing Annex modeled on high density storage facilities now in use at other research libraries and regional consortia, will provide low cost storage for collections in a sound environment. Utilizing both high density shelving and proper environmental control will not only save space, but prolong the usable life of our collections. Listed below are justifications for such a facility and a preliminary summary of its components.

The Need for Collection Space

The Libraries

The Rutgers University Libraries are essentially filled to capacity. Some of the most critical space shortages are in the Alexander Library, the Library of Science and Medicine, the Dana Library, and the Chemistry Library. For example, 45% of the Chemistry Library books are now in the existing Annex due to lack of space for shelving. The Library of Science and Medicine has resorted to putting volumes on book trucks. This situation will only be exacerbated in the years to come. Appendix I shows the projected growth of the physical book collection until 2010. Factoring fewer volumes in some areas due to electronic publishing, we will continue to add approximately 675,105 volumes during this period. Using the standard average rate of 32 books per shelf the Libraries will need 21,097 more shelves (or 63,291 linear feet) just for bound items by the year 2010. The need for space is still greater when you take into consideration the growth in other areas such as media, microforms, and vertical files.

Special Collections and University Archives

Rutgers University Libraries' Special Collection and University Archives (SC/UA) is one of the largest and most comprehensive state and regional history libraries in the nation. There are extensive and growing collections of rare books and pamphlets, manuscripts, university archives and records, maps, broadsides, pictorial materials, and other related materials. There are over 8 million items in the manuscript collection contained in over 2,200 collections. Collections range in size from a few items to hundreds of cubic feet. Currently, collections containing over 1,000 cubic foot boxes include the Consumers' Research Archives, the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America Archives, and the papers of Senator Harrison Williams. Senator Lautenberg's papers will contain about 1,500 boxes when they arrive. Negotiations continue for the acquisition of new collections in traditional areas and in some of the developing initiatives, such as those to support the D-21 project at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library where there is planned the development of a digital women's archive within the Margery Somers Foster Center.

As one of the oldest and largest universities in the country, Rutgers has a major archives repository and records management program. There are well over 10,000 cubic feet of original records, dissertations, memorabilia, pamphlets, reports, blueprints, etc. In addition, SC/UA serves as the official records management program for Rutgers. This entails keeping track of everything produced by the university, establishing records retention schedules, and housing material to be retained temporarily until it is discarded. When records are deemed permanent, they are transferred to the archives. Due to the lack of space, SC/UA has not been able to fill adequately the housing part of the equation. In many cases, records remain stored in the originating offices or substandard warehouses, and subject to damage and/or loss. By enlarging the Annex, this material could all be housed and properly maintained by SC/UA.

Institute for Jazz Study

The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS), a research branch of the John Cotton Dana Library of Rutgers University Libraries, is the largest special collection and archive devoted to jazz under university auspices. Housed on the Rutgers-Newark campus, IJS has vast holdings of recordings, books and periodicals, files of clippings and historic photographs, and a tremendous archival and artifacts collection. IJS serves an international clientele of scholars, writers, musicians, and the media, as well as students from Rutgers and many other institutions. IJS is a prime resource for students in the Rutgers-Newark Graduate Program in Jazz Research and History, a unique interdisciplinary program that prepares graduates to fulfil the need for instructors and scholars to teach, publish, and conduct research in the area of jazz studies.

The Institute's sixty-eight archival collections are divided into six main groups: manuscript collections, music materials, publications, sound recordings, oral histories and artifacts. The manuscript collection currently consists of sixty-five individual collections of personal papers and organizational records. IJS also maintains a photographic collection of some 30,000 images.

The music materials consist of about thirty-eight collections, including many autographed scores as well as published music and vintage stock arrangements. IJS holdings include a 6,000-plus volume jazz library, an internationally unique collection of international jazz periodicals from the 1920s to the present, and theses and dissertations on jazz topics. In addition, IJS houses extensive files of record company ledgers and catalogs, some dating from the early days of commercial recording, and other discographical research materials. Vertical files housed in the IJS reading room provide invaluable tools for jazz research. The name file contains information on jazz artists, producers, scholars, and critics culled from newspapers, general interest and trade publications, publicity releases, correspondence, and citations; a topics file covers festivals and other jazz events, musical trends, theaters and clubs, jazz by country and other geographic regions, etc.

Since moving to new facility in the Dana Library in 1994, the IJS sound recording collections in all formats have grown immensely. The growth may be attributed to three factors:

  1. The growing awareness of the IJS collection.
  2. The aging of the firstwave of jazz collectors
  3. The constant change in formats, i.e. vinyl to tape to cd. The same is likely to continue with DVD's replacing VCR tape, etc.

Scholarly use of jazz collections has grown as have donations to IJS. The most active growth is in recorded sound collections. IJS adds approximately 3,000 to 4,000 CDs a year and LPs continue to grow at the rate of approximately 2,000 per year. Within the six thousand volume library, the book collection grows at approx. 150 vols. per year, and the periodicals at approx. 50 bound volumes (active titles).

IJS archival collections range in size from a few folders to the 170 boxes of materials that make up the Mary Lou Williams collection, the largest archival holding. The rate of growth of this material is more difficult to predict, since the addition of a single major collection, such as the Mary Lou Williams papers can result in a sudden need for substantial additional space.

The stack area in IJS is now 90% full; the addition of new shelving would require the reduction of the public seating area. IJS has recently turned to off-site storage to house some 250 boxes (each box = 1 cubic ft) of duplicate periodicals. In addition, the Institute has a number of collections in several formats (tapes, discs, etc.) currently housed in IJS or in Dana storage rooms.

Public Service Space Needs of the Rutgers University Libraries

Libraries are transforming rapidly. The libraries have developed many new and exciting digital services. Databases and electronic journals in the libraries are available as well as nascent electronic books collections including Early English Books Online which contains everything published in English before 1700. Providing access on site to these resources require increasing space for public access terminals and networked printers.

Librarians are increasingly working in partnerships with faculty in the development of information in the digital realm. One has only to look at the work in the Scholarly Communications Center in the Alexander Library to see the work being done in such areas as the environment, women's studies, art history, and politics. The Libraries receive significant grants from such agencies as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop digital initiatives. Librarian's teaching roles are increasing, especially in partnership with the faculty and as part of the curriculum. Examples of this are Shaping a Life at Douglass College and Perspectives in Agriculture and the Environment at Cook. The Libraries last year taught 1,007 classes to 19,847 students, and yet not all libraries have the appropriate electronic teaching laboratories to be able to do this effectively.

Professors are increasingly assigning collaborative projects. Students are clamoring for space where they can work together with their colleagues around a laptop. There are just a few such places in the libraries.

All these new services are based in our existing buildings. With new initiatives and projects, space is needed for staff, equipment, public work areas, etc. As space is transformed to support these initiatives, maintenance and housing of traditional collections is increasingly difficult.

Conservation Needs of Rutgers University Libraries

As part of the Annex addition, it is proposed that a conservation laboratory for both circulating and special collections be built. The libraries are developing an in-depth preservation program to save the Universities' collections and need a place to house these important activities.

At the moment conservation treatments occur in three different locations: Collection Management Services, Alexander Library; Library of Science and Medicine; and the preservation lab of Special Collections and University Archives. None are fully equipped for a wide range of book and paper conservation treatments and space for growth is limited in all three.

Building a treatment facility in an addition to the Annex has many advantages. Requirements for ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems can be part of the design rather than adapted from existing conditions. Additionally the system put in place for transporting items to and from the remote facility can also be used to deliver materials from all units to the conservation lab for repair.

The Existing Annex

The current Rutgers University Libraries Annex is located on the Busch Campus in Piscataway New Jersey. Built in 1981, the main building is a steel frame structure with a steel skin, and is built on a grade level poured concrete slab foundation. The square footage of the main building is 9,400, and the design load for the stack area floor is 500 lbs/sq.ft. Its height of 31 feet accommodates a steel three-story industrial shelving structure with 9,172 shelves. There is a 2400 square foot wing housing the reading room, receiving area and, office space for Annex and Special Collections & University Archive staff. Approximately one quarter of the stack area's square footage was not originally fitted with the three-story shelving. In 2002, a major renovation took place to fill that area with shelving as well as to put a new roof over the 2400 square foot wing and to redo the heat and air conditioning system for the main part of the facility. Notwithstanding this recent renovation, the additional 670 shelves will very shortly be filled with materials. For example, we will soon be adding the 1,500 boxes from Senator Frank Lautenberg's previous term in office. In addition, the facility is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of the Libraries in terms of conservation and acquisition requirements.

High Density Storage Facilities

How do we create space within our buildings to accommodate these new services, roles, and growing collections? A cost effective way is to construct an addition to our existing annex building. A high density storage facility will provide both increased shelving capacity and a preservation environment extending the life of our collections.

High density storage facilities are an increasingly favored model for storing valued but low- use collections. Books and archival collections are stored efficiently by size with access controlled by barcoding. The environment is highly regulated to slow deterioration. Harvard University was the pioneer in developing this system, and the model has spread throughout the country with facilities run by universities and regional consortiums alike. The nearest example is the RECAP facility shared by Princeton, Columbia, and NYPL located in Forrestal Village; but the model perhaps closest to our needs would be the recently completed Auxiliary Library Facility at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. See URL:

Proposed High Density Storage Facility for Rutgers University

It is proposed that the high density storage facility addition to the existing Annex consist of the areas delineated below.

Books and Records Storage Area

High density storage facilities share common physical features. Book shelving areas are accessed only by employees. The main storage areas have ceilings between thirty to forty feet high with open shelving extending to the ceiling. Books are stored in groups in boxes or cardboard trays by size. Shelves can be adjusted to the height of the books. Items are retrieved and reshelved through the use of cherry pickers or order-pickers.

Since the stacks are closed, patrons order books from the facility to be delivered to the patron's nearest branch or a reading room within the facility. This is generally accomplished through the library's online catalog and the Rutgers Request Service. Turn around time is generally twenty-four hours, particularly for facilities that are located on campus, as is proposed here. Books are stored according to a barcode system. This provides a link between the physical location on the shelf and the catalog record. As books or boxes of records enter the facility for the first time, they are given a unique barcode. The barcode identification tracks the book through finding, use, and reshelving activities.

Materials shelved in storage facilities have generally been determined to be high value, but low-use items. The environment of a storage facility is tightly controlled to slow the deterioration of collections for all materials. Temperature and relative humidity are kept at steady levels; and harmful gaseous and particulate pollutants are filtered out before they enter the stack space. Fire suppression is a key part of the preservation environment of high density storage. One model uses ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) sprinklers activated by heat detection (WRLC - Washington Research Library Consortium and ReCAP).

In addition to the book and archival collections stored in the main stack areas, Rutgers University needs to have film vaults and audio-visual collection storage as well. Rare photograph collections and audio-visual collections are a growing component of many different units of RUL, particularly for SC/UA, IJS, and Media. To preserve these types of collections for long term use, environmental specifications should be colder and shelving types differ.

Loading Dock

The facility needs an appropriate loading dock. The loading dock should be in close proximity to the receiving and processing areas.

Processing and Receiving Area

Space is needed to process incoming and outgoing collections from the branches into the high density storage area. Several activities such as sorting materials, barcoding, building enclosures, and packing for shipment will occur in this area on a daily basis. This area will also serve as the location to receive and disperse patron requests for material shelved in the high density storage area. A secondary use of this space would be a location for review by librarians before books or manuscripts go to initial processing. Work stations, shelving, and space for book trucks are needed. It should be adjacent to the loading dock.

Inspection Area

There must be a room for large incoming collection inspections adjacent to the receiving area. These collections may be from purchase, donation, or the Records Program. Large gifts or collections of records need to be appraised and sorted. Many older collections, particularly those stored in private homes, may have pest or mold problems. A large room for inspection will contain mostly shelving and work tables. It will also contain a number of freezers for pest eradication, and an area where mold can be removed.

Project Room

The Rutgers University Libraries have a critical need for processing and supply storage space. The processing rooms in the Libraries are literally bursting at the seams with staff and graduate assistants sharing tables and computers. SC/UA's largest collections (IUE, Consumers' Research, etc.) have been processed at the Annex, along with much of the the University Archives Records Management Program. A room of 3,000 square feet would be appropriate for future needs. It should be equipped with data ports and phone lines to accommodate the necessary computer hookups. Shelving and large work tables will be needed also.

Supply Room

This should be a large walk-in closet/room with shelves for office, processing, and disaster supplies. If books are stored in trays on the shelves (as is customary for high density shelving), a large quantity of trays or boxes will need to be on hand and will take up space in the supply room.

Conservation Laboratory

Current staffing for book repair and conservation for the Libraries is approximately five FTE - (three full time staff members, and two FTE student or part-time positions). A large space is required for this number of staff, their workstations and large projects. Any space identified for a treatment facility should have daylight from windows, substantial floor loading capacity, and easy access to a loading dock.

There must be ventilation to the outside of the building for a fume hood. Running water is required both for the cleaning of tools and for treatments. Two sinks are necessary, one of which must be large and shallow with a distilled water filtration system. Bright, even, color-corrected light for the entire space is critical, as is appropriate task lighting for work stations. Electrical outlets for higher voltage equipment (such as the encapsulator) will also need to be available, but in limited areas; while regular electrical outlets should be plentiful throughout the lab.

Most conservation labs have a wide array of cabinets and storage spaces, many of which are built in. A conservation lab which includes both circulating and special collection material will also need secure cabinets to store rare or valuable items. A variety of shelving, which can be built- in or stand-alone is also necessary for both treatments and supplies.

This conservation laboratory will require special equipment. The most significant impact of this equipment on planning the space is insuring that floors have sufficient floor loading capability. Most equipment is not significantly heavy, but some pieces such as board sheers or large presses, can weigh hundreds of pounds.

Public Reading Room

A new public use area will be necessary so that it will be in the proximity of the new staff work areas. This is to accommodate the small numbers of patrons who, for a variety of reasons, need to access materials onsite.

Staff Offices, Break Area, and Restrooms

The significant increase in the size of the Annex as well as the new preservation and conservation services means an increase in staff. The number of offices should, therefore, be increased to six. There should be a common area for staff, voucher employees and the many student workers to take a break so that other areas are kept clean. Restrooms for employees and patrons will be necessary.

Custodial Closet

A custodial closet with shelving, a floor sink, and drain are required.



Book and manuscript high density storage area 23,400 ASF
Cold storage for audio-visual material 1,000 ASF
Inspection Area 2,000 ASF
Processing and Receiving Space 2,000 ASF
Project Room 3,000 ASF
Conservation Laboratory 5,600 ASF
Public Reading Room 1,000 ASF
Six offices (6 x 150 sf each) 900 ASF
Staff Room 400 ASF
Total space required 39,300 ASF


Using the figures from the construction of the high density storage facility at Indiana University where a similar facility was built, the cost per assignable square foot is $365/square foot. Applying this figure to our square footage comes to a figure of $14,344,500. This is, of course, based on 2002 costs, and will need to be adjusted for the passage of time.

Website Feedback  |  Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1997-, Rutgers University Libraries