Originally established as a temporary facility after the flood of 2008, in 2016 the University of Iowa Libraries Annex moved to a permanent location with high-density, climate-controlled space more suited to long-term collections storage. Since that time there have been ongoing projects to move material from campus libraries to the Annex.

Past Projects Include…

  • FY 2017: 434,000 low-use, older volumes moved from the Main Library basement, 5,000 journal volumes from the Marvin A. Pomerantz Business Library, and 5,435 reels of film moved to Cold Storage along with 282 guides.
  • FY 2018: 449,470 items fully ingested, including remaining Main Library basement materials, Preservation Masters Collection items, the former Law Library Annex, and additionally 985 volumes and 510 boxes of Special Collections and University Archives material.
  • FY 2019: 381,069 items added to the Annex from the campus branch libraries and the Law Library, alongside 2,000 linear feet of boxes from Special Collections and archives. In a special project, objects associated with the International Dada Archive and the Bollinger Lincoln Collection were moved from the Main Library. The Annex also received and served as a temporary location for the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry upon its accession by Special Collections.
  • FY 2020: Despite disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 23,93 items were ingested at the Annex including folios from the Art Library, the Rita Benton Music Library’s LP collection, reference books from both the Main and Lichtenberger Engineering Libraries, and materials formerly stored in the locked case at the Science Library. To work towards establishing a core collection at the Main Library, work began to move low-use books from the main bookstacks to the Annex. Libraries staff worked with Gale to facilitate a project digitizing material from the Social Documents Collection. Google Books project work began.
  • FY 2021: Moving of the Goldman Band and Hawkeye Marching Band records from the Music Library was completed, as well as 1800 volumes of the Congressional Serial set, art monographs, and newly acquired International Writing Program-related books moved to the Annex from the Main Library. Older and less-used volumes were also moved as part of ongoing work toward forming a core collection. LP’s and their corresponding guides guides from media services at the Main Library were ingested. Google project work continued, including the move of approximately 5,000 items originating at the Main Library delivered to the Annex after digitization.

Who to contact with questions: Maggie Halterman-Dess, margaret-halterman@uiowa.edu

Main Library Storage Project (FY 2016)

Why were these books moved?

Poor storage conditions — Books should be stored in a stable environment that is 70 degrees, 40- percent relative humidity, away from walls, and at least 12 inches from the ceiling. In addition, books should be kept in low-light conditions in a dust-free area with adequate ventilation and airflow.

Our Main Library Storage, located in the basement, does not meet these standards. The basement areas are dusty, air circulation and air quality are uneven, and lights are typically left on all day because there is no easy way to turn them off. Items are shelved close to lights and under major pipes and drains. The area has seen mold outbreaks at the south end due to poor air circulation. There have been leaks from restrooms and a major water line break.

Prevent possible flood damage — The lower levels of the basement flooded in 2008. Even with the UI’s flood prevention work completed since 2008, there is no guarantee the library won’t flood again, and evacuation of materials from the basement is difficult due to the compact shelving configuration.

Low-use volumes stored off-site — Materials currently stored in the basement are typically low-use or have online equivalents. They come from all branches, Hardin Library, and Main Library
collections. They have already been vetted by a librarian as suitable for off-site storage.


  • January-June 2017: Prepare the collection for move, including preservation treatment.
  • May 15, 2017: Materials no longer available for delivery in InfoHawk+. ILL to be used to obtain a copy from another library.
  • June 1, 2017: Materials moved from the Main Library basement to the Libraries
    Annex. Materials staged on shelves and processed for ingestion. As materials are processed, they will become available for retrieval in InfoHawk+.
  • July 15, 2017: Deadline to clear the west side of the Main Library basement, due to the University project to renovate the basement to temporarily place occupants during major building renovations.
  • September 2017: Approximately 25% of the collection is ingested and made available to users.
  • December 2017: Approximately half of the collection is ingested and made available to users.
  • May 2018: 100% of the collection is ingested and made available to users. Completion of project.

Ingestion Process Information

  • Cleaning and repairing any book not in good condition.
  • Verifying the bibliographic details (author, title, publisher, publication date) are accuratelyreflected in InfoHawk+.
  • Sizing the material and placing it in one of ten possible tray sizes.
  • Placing the tray on a shelf (based on size of book) and recording that physical location in our circulation software.
  • Mark the item as requestable for users in InfoHawk+.