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Building Blocks: Size and Condition

Anticipated Collection need.

There are three methods for anticipating collection size:
Annual net percent increase. (New material less lost and withdrawn material). This method is the poorest predictor of size as it is a function of the annual budget allocated to library materials and limited by the amount of existing shelving for library materials available.
Set a targeted collection size: this is generally done by projecting population growth and setting a goal of a specific number of library items per capita. This is the method used in this report. Fresno’s target is 2.3 items per capita for rural areas and 1.3 items in metropolitan area. The number is lower for the metropolitan area because there are more libraries available, because public transportation is more readily available, and because collections tend to be larger to serve a larger population. A higher per capita is needed in rural areas to insure collections of adequate size and depth throughout the county and available to residents with less access to public transportation.
Detailed Method: Check past growth and project collection growth for each type of collection (e.g. books, videos, CD’s, language, and special collections). Ultimately this method yields the most detailed result, and is the recommended method when preparing a specific building plan for a specific building. This method is too detailed and subject to change at this preliminary planning stage but is used when the building program is developed for each community.
Type and Storage of Collections.
Materials are and will be stored in an increasing variety of ways: traditional library shelving, moveable aisle compact storage shelving, electronic, video and audio cassette, audio CD’s, DVD’s, and in formats not yet invented or marketable such as the electronic book. In Fresno all library materials are in public spaces open to the public with the exception of some collections located in the basement of the Central library. These collections are not accessible to the public and have been selected for closed access because they are less frequently used. Collections that are not accessible include: Government Document, back issues of periodicals, older, less used books. Portions of these materials are in compact storage in the Central Library basement.
Studies show that libraries should plan for libraries of the future with “no impact from electronic publishing on the amount of space needed for approximately 10 years”. 4
Space also needs to be allocated for merchandising of library materials in a “face out” rather than the more traditional “spine out” method.
All libraries must meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, including aisle width and shelving heights.

*4 Library Technology Reports, p. 458 July/August 1995.

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