Welcome to UTL at Downsview
In 2005, the University of Toronto Library opened a high-density storage and preservation facility. Faced with overcrowded book-shelves and the need for improved reading and study spaces, UTL has joined other large academic libraries in North America in implementing a shared print-repository as a solution. Low-use materials from all U of T libraries are transferred, weekly, and access to the entire collections is provided by an online request services, supported by a daily courier.
The centrally-located Downsview Campus site was located after careful examination of both existing space and the potential of the St. George Campus. The St. George Campus did not offer sufficient space, especially for the long-term needs of this repository. The site plans that were approved, by Governing Council, called for a modular design, with each storage module able to hold approximately 1,000,000 volumes. Two modules, plus a loading dock and administrative and processing areas, were built in 2005. The third, fourth, and fifth modules (each with the same volume capacity) are scheduled for 2011, 2013, and 2017.
The design of the facility and its operational program was based on that of facilities already in place at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and Ohio State Universities, as well as several other universities with large research libraries, located in similar climates.
- Construction began January 2005.
- Occupancy and transfer of collections began December 2005.
- Master plan includes adding three more storage modules in 2011, 2013 and 2017 to bring the total to five modules in total.
- Area of existing 2 modules is 18,400 square feet.
- Each module is planned to hold approximately 1 million plus items.
- Total capacity is approximately 5-6 million items.
- Processing, reception and shipping/receiving areas comprise 7,485 square feet.
- Exterior cladding of pre-cast concrete.
- "Super-flat" floor construction in the storage area.
- Each range of racking is 30 ft high, with 30 bays of 25 shelves per bay.
- Total number of shelves per module = 6,000.
- Level of lighting in the storage area is 5 foot candles.
- HVAC system for the storage area is designed to hold the temperature within a 2 degree range and humidity with a 2% range of optimum environment for long-term storage of print materials.
- An air curtain and double doors between the dock and the storage area help to control the climate.
- 3 full-time High Density Shelving and Retrieval Associates
- 1 full-time Manager
- With the flexibility to add Student staff when required
Space allocation in the facility consists of:
- Storage Area, Processing Area, Shipping/ Receiving Area,
- Battery-charging Area, a Drive-in Van Bay, Mechanical and Electrical Rooms, Kitchen, a Reading Room, Washrooms, Offices
- Racking in the current storage area begins at range #9
- (Ranges 1-8 will be added in late 2009).
Lift truck facts:
- Raymond Orderpicker Class II weighs 8265 lbs. (approx. 4 tons), with battery
- Weight of 24 volt battery is 2000 lbs. (1 ton)
- Certified operator wears a safety harness
- Customized aluminum work table is attached to the forks