Although Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) for library archive materials storage are highly innovative for libraries, it is fairly common in industry and has a long track record. Indeed, most people in the library field are distrustful of any form of automated, random access storage for books and other bound volumes. Should the system breakdown, they fear that materials will be lost forever. Our library storage consultant study preservation systems including compact storage, high bay and traditional shelving. This is an example of our archival experience - we work on print storage systems for large and small research centers and libraries.
High-density storage and their costs are now quite reasonable. This is primarily due to their increasing use in industry. For a small library with a large, in-depth collection, a library planning study provides a methodology for handling specialized or low use materials. Since more and more librarians depend upon online and subscription based services in addition to print resources, they are familiar with storage need, but they need to study the unknowns. Aaron Cohen Associates, we have planned large systems such as the University of California, Eastern Michigan University Libraries, University of Las Vegas, Nevada, Eastern Michigan and LVCCLD.
One of the most important objectives served as high density storage is the achievement of improved material control. This means knowing exactly where materials are located, knowing their status and being able to get them where and when they are needed. The correlation of equipment control and information control is the key to material control. Other important objectives include labor reduction; improved use of space; reducing material losses, damage and location errors; saving energy; providing the ability for library growth without adding substantial space; easy tracking of usage of materials. The last helps in determining materials to weed.