Five College Consortium

Five College Library Annex Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the Annex be built?  How rapidly can materials be retrieved?
The plan is to build the Annex just off exit 22 on I-91, convenient to be served by the Five College messenger, who delivers Five College inter-campus messages and inter-library materials on a twice-daily basis. Hence the Five College messenger will retrieve items shelved at the new Library Annex for patrons of all five campus libraries. Materials shelved at the Library Annex will be listed in the Five College library catalog with location and retrieval information and will be delivered to the requesting campus within one business day of a request. More frequent deliveries will be arranged during the period of time during which the Annex hosts parts of the circulating collection from Smith's Neilson Library.  

Why is this cost effective? 
The high density shelving and climate control mean that the cost will be far less than the costs of expanding conventional on-campus library facilities.

What will be the climate control? 
Stable temperature and humidity conditions will be chosen to ensure longevity of print materials and these conditions will reduce the carbon footprint of the operations over that of conventional on-site library shelving.

What will be the size and site impact of the Annex? 
The site development will have low impact.  The plan includes a shelving module with a capacity of 2.5 million volumes (which would have a footprint of about 130’ x 200’ with roughly 24-foot-high shelving) and an one-story wing of about 9000 sq. ft. for material processing and other administrative needs.  .

How will patrons use the materials housed in the Annex? 
While there will be a reading/browsing room at the Annex, the majority of users will be served either by electronic copies of the materials they request or by having the printed volume delivered to their on-campus libraries for use or check-out. Patrons will submit their requests on-line as they currently do for the 570,000 volumes shelved in the Five College Library Repository Collection just off Route 116 near "The Notch." Materials will be delivered to the requesting patron at no charge within one business day of a request.

How will the Annex be financed? 
Smith Colleges is paying Five Colleges, Incorporated for 30% of the cost; Five Colleges will borrow funds to finance the balance of the costs and plans to repay the financing by leasing space to the University. 

What will be the impact of the Annex on library staffing?
Since the Annex is mainly for infrequently-circulating materials, Five Colleges and the Five College librarians project that it can be operated with, at most, adding one more person to the current staff of two employees. Since the materials placed in the Annex for the long term will be selected from those infrequently used, the Annex will not affect the staffing of the campus libraries.

What will be the impact of the Annex on local traffic patterns? 
The Annex will have minimal impact on local traffic, with only a few employees and twice-daily van deliveries. Only occasionally will there be briefly heavier traffic of trucks carrying large shipments.  There will be slightly higher traffic during times when the Annex serves as host to a substantial portion of the circulating collection drawn from Smith College's Neilson Library.