The University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries today announced the opening of a new £26 million book storage facility to accommodate more than 8 million volumes of library overflow. For publishers who have already noticed the trend in Europe, North America and elsewhere, the opening of this massive new warehouse is yet another example of what libraries are doing with their large, historical print collections.

Not necessarily a result of library closures, large off-site storage facilities are opening to accommodate a conversion of the library space from publication warehouse to high-tech, interactive study and research space. As with the engineering library at Stanford, the digitization of book collections (in addition to journals)  is allowing libraries to finally clear out much-needed space.

Bodley's Librarian, Dr. Sarah Thomas, explained:

‘The BSF will prove a long-awaited solution to the space problem that has long challenged the Bodleian. We have been running out of space since the 1970s and the situation has become increasingly desperate in the last few years. Now we can look to the future with confidence that we are preserving one of the world’s most complete records of the written word in state-of-the-art secure archival conditions. The BSF also allows us to reorganize our collections. We can redevelop important buildings within central Oxford from book fortresses into welcoming library spaces for readers and exhibition halls where we can share our treasures with a broader audience.’

Read the full article on the Bodleian Libraries page here.