Main Library Storage Project

Beginning May 12, 2017 and continuing through the summer, the UI Libraries will be moving 425,000 low-use, older volumes from the Main Library’s basement storage to the new off-site Libraries Annex. Given the scale of the items slated to move, this entire process will take approximately one year to complete.  As materials are processed, they will become available by request and all materials will be available for retrieval by May 2018.

How does this impact me?

To avoid disruptions in your work, the UI Libraries urges you to:

  • Please place a delivery request in InfoHawk+ by May 12, 2017 for material in the Main Library Storage collection that you will need between May 2017 and May 2018.
  • Between May 2017 and May 2018, if you need an item that’s unavailable, please use UBorrow to request a copy from another library.

Who to contact with questions:  Carmelita Pickett, 319-335-5873,

Why move these books?

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+.  UBorrow 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 accurately reflected 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+.