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Developing a Strategic Plan for Library Space Needs through 2010



A 20-year strategic plan for library space has been developed at Cornell University, a private research university which also serves as the land-grant university for the State of New York. Two basic approaches to analyzing space needs were used. The first was the conventional analysis, where collections and user space needs are projected into the future based on estimated growth rates and modified national library standards for space utilization. This analysis focused on primary user populations, collection growth rates, user/reader and service space, and use of the Library Annex and compact shelving. A working group of appropriate library, information technology, and planning and research staff estimated the impact of relevant technologies on the conventional projections over the 20-year planning period. Factors that influenced estimates include the commercial viability of materials produced in digital formats; copyright constraints; user acceptance of digital storage of information; relative costs of buying, storing, and retrieving electronic materials; and the phased implementation of technology. Based on these analyses the university adopted four strategic planning criteria to serve as the starting point for all library space planning through 2010. Figures appended to the paper graph projected library space increases; the comparative costs of digital and remote storage; projected increases in space needs; and historical and projected space growth rates. Appended tables present data for critical need libraries, including current projected volume equivalents; current and needed reader space; current and desired use of remote storage and compact shelving; and current and projected space needs. (KRN)


Matier, M.W. & Sidle, C.C. Developing a Strategic Plan for Library Space Needs through 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2023 from .

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