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Wider Perspectives: Collaboration on Storage and e-Science Content Catherine Nicholson SCURL Development Director. CASS Project – Timescale & Aim. November 2001 to April 2002 Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland & SCURL

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CASS Project – Timescale & Aim

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Wider Perspectives:Collaboration on Storage and e-Science ContentCatherine NicholsonSCURL Development Director

CASS Project – Timescale & Aim

  • November 2001 to April 2002

  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland & SCURL

  • Aimed to determine the optimal model for a collaborative storage and delivery service for valuable but lower-use materials research materials held in Scottish University libraries

Local Background

1950’s Scottish Central Library considers de-duplicated central reserve – proposal abandoned

1996 University of Paisley Study for West of Scotland HEIs - inconclusive

2001 SPIS: Shared Preservation in Scotlandfinal report - strong recommendation for store

Wider Background

  • Anderson & Follett Reports

  • BL/HE Task Force ‘Study of Collaborative Storage of Library Resources’ 2001

  • RSLP Report ‘Barriers to Resource Sharing Among Higher Education Libraries’ 2002

  • RSLG Final Report 2003

  • SCURL collections work – Conspectus, RCO, CAIRNS, SCONE, SALSER

Space –

the final frontier…?

  • Continuing growth in print output

  • Acquisitions exceed discard

  • IT facilities – machines & support

  • Teaching & Learning space

  • Study space

  • Social space

Space Pressures

  • Little capital investment in new library buildings

  • Creation of local stores

  • Environmental conditions

  • Duplication of lesser-used materials

  • Increased costs

  • No overall collection strategy for this type of material

We are not alone…

  • International collaborative storage facilities

  • Australia – CARM Centre

  • US – many examples eg WRLC, Boston, California

  • UK – HEFCW ‘ HELP’ Project

  • UK – English Regions eg West Midlands

  • IFLA- National Repository Library of Finland Conference of Repository or Storage Libraries 1999

Model that would...

  • Reduce costs at local level

  • Free valuable space

  • Enhance access through joint ownership

  • Reduce costs at national level through de-duplication and joint maintenance

  • Provide safe storage

  • Provide optimum conditions for preservation

  • Share costs beyond HE through cross-sectoral/cross-domain co-operation

  • Introduce monitoring mechanisms to determine ongoing value



Collaborative Storage Issues


Selection & Deduplication

Security & Insurance



Storage type and Environmental conditions

Retrieval & Access


Staffing & Facility Management


CASS Outcomes 1 -Library Community

  • Ownership and management by separate body

  • Ownership - ceded subject to legal compliance- should be the norm

  • De-duplication - agreement with need for care in initial stages

  • Cataloguing - material must be catalogued for inclusion and catalogue must be CAIRNS-compliant

  • Inter-Lending - available to CASS members initially

  • Location - no general agreement though need for good infrastructure essential

CASS Outcomes 2 -Library Community

  • Onsite consulation facilities

  • Delivery methods - electronic/fax/physical

  • Delivery - 24 hour except weekends and public holidays

  • Physical condition of materials

  • Environmental conditions - close to BS 5454:2000

  • Service Level Agreement - flexible realistic targets

Library Space Requirement

Research Community Survey

Attitude to remote storage

  • Acceptable - 57%

  • Inconvenient - 36%

    Delivery times

  • 24 hours - 55%

  • 48 hours - 41%


  • Desirable - 53%

  • Essential - 36%

Archival Requirements

Interest expressed from SCURL in storage for archives and records led to issue of questionnaire

Space required for archives and non-current records

Secure areas

Joint disposal

Temporary holding facility

Not as suited to a collaborative approach

Continuing discussion through SUSCAG on requirement

CASS: Post Project Developments

Final Report June 2002 http// scurl.ac.uk/

SHEFC bid under Strategic Change Grant Initiative November 2002

Unsuccessful outcome - ‘ not convinced that the proposal adds significantly to the range of services currently offered by the BL and NLS’

CASS: Model to SHEFC

  • Partnership proposal with National Library of Scotland

  • Capital for new build to house CASS and NLS Inter-Library Services £3.5 m

  • Joint funding from SHEFC and SEED

  • Building available FY 2004-05

CASS: Financial Model to SHEFC

  • 10 Year period

  • SHEFC capital funding to allow initial two year rent-free period for contributors

  • Two-tier membership to allow maximum participation

  • Recurrent funding Year 3 from institutional subscriptions based on FTEs, block grant & storage requirements

CASS: Cost Elements

Inclusive rate per linear metre to cover:

  • 15,000 lm of compact storage with expansion room

  • Maintenance, utilities and running costs

  • Two full-time staff members

  • Communications charges and postage for letters

  • Fixed rate for five years with capped increases thereafter up to ten years

CASS: Uncosted Elements

Not covered in inclusive rate:

  • Cataloguing and inventory systems hardware, software

  • Support and maintenance for above

  • Cataloguing costs

  • Costs of selection for storage/de-accessioning/disposal

  • Costs of initial delivery to store

  • Postage/courier costs for packets

CASS: The Way Forward

  • New National Librarian

  • Continuing discussion with National Library of Scotland

  • New service and estates strategy

  • CASS written into these

  • Original needs assessment reviewed

  • Ongoing support from members

CASS: The Pilot Study 2003

  • Based in NLS Causewayside building

  • Initial 2,500 lm space available now

  • Room for short-term expansion

  • Benefits- determination of the true costs

    - resolution of issues

    - paves way for full facility

    - deep resource sharing in practice

CASS: The Pilot Project

Initial Library Members

  • Edinburgh University

  • St Andrews University

  • Paisley University

  • Stirling University

  • Glasgow Caledonian University

  • Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama

Pilot Project: Next steps

Meeting of stakeholders to discuss:

  • Timetable

  • Project Management

  • Service Level Agreements with NLS

  • Contracts

  • Feasibility of implementing CASS Project outcomes eg de-duplication, collective ownership

  • Exit strategy

‘It seems to me clear that a book which is worth keeping at all ought to be kept accessible; that is, where it can be found, on demand, with a reasonable expenditure of time and labor.

The problem, then, is to devise a mode of storing disused books, so that they may be kept safe and accessible, and yet at a low cost for shelter and annual care.’

Charles William Eliot (1902)

SISWGScience Information Strategy Working Group


Investigate widening access to scientific material through national licensing for all the sectors in Scotland



  • SLIC

  • NLS

Triggers & Influences

  • Jan 2001 – Science Strategy for Scotland

  • July 2001 - £1m boost for science in Scotland

  • Dec 2001 – Closure of the NLS Scottish Science Library

  • National initiatives especially FinELib

The Plan

Consultation process with

  • Publishers

  • Aggregators

  • Potential Stakeholders

  • Scientific community

    Aim to approach Scottish Executive with package for funding during 2003/04


  • Widening access to scientific content

  • Reduced costs and administration through centralised approach

  • Potential contribution to education, research and industry in Scotland


    Watch this space!

Thank you!

For further information on SCURL please look at our web site


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