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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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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

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
research community survey

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

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

CASS: Post Project Developments

Final Report June 2002 http//

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)


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