Offsite Storage for libraries

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Library Space is in High Demand

As a librarian, you’re involved in reoccurring - and often competing - discussions about how best to develop and manage your collections and how to effectively create more spaces to deliver new services to your users.

Over $4

Did You Know?

The cost per year of housing a book in the library is high. Over $4 per item. 

Manage your valuable collections with offsite storage and access services designed for libraries like yours.

How do you make room for that new makerspace or technology suite?

We understand the needs of your library community. In fact, we have developed a variety of offsite storage solutions specifically to address the unique challenges you’re facing today. Our experience and scale allow us to offer the right environmental controls for your collections - from ambient, to climate controlled, to cold storage options. With Iron Mountain, you'll be able to meet the specific storage and service needs to securely manage and preserve your collections.

Library Collections
Your library space is prime real estate. The average weighted cost per year of housing a book in your library is high – research shows it’s likely over $4 per item. Weigh that against the portions of your collection with relatively low circulation rates and the idea of repurposing your space makes sense. Nevertheless, your current holdings are important to your institution and it is your responsibility to balance preservation and access.
Archives and Special Collections
Managing a library’s Special Collections and Archives is a complex responsibility. Climate-controlled special collections space is extremely limited in the library and archival-quality offsite storage is at a premium. This unique content is part of what defines your library and the duty of preserving it falls on your shoulders. When that next donor makes an offer, you don’t want the lack of proper storage to dictate your response.

The University of Scranton Case Study

Detailed planning and strong transparency ensured University of Scranton's successful introduction to offsite storage.
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Your Trusted Advisor

Putting any part of your collection into offsite storage is a complicated process. But it’s not one that you have to do alone. Iron Mountain’s library experts will serve as your trusted advisor to help you develop your plan, from selecting the materials and choosing the appropriate storage environments, to securing community support, to coordinating the move offsite.

Bound Journals

Probably the easiest content to move offsite because it takes fewer decisions to move more volumes and patrons don’t need to browse this collection. In addition, patrons prefer electronic delivery of articles. If the journal is not already available online, digital scanning and delivery is fast and efficient from remote storage locations. 
Monography Books in Library | Iron Mountain


Reliable access to your monograph collections is very important, however circulation rates are likely very low and you can free up a considerable amount of space from moving the lowest circulating content off site.
Microfilm and Microfiche | Iron Mountain


Removing your microform storage cabinets can free up a lot of reusable space in the library and allows you to protect your content in climate controlled environments optimized for film, with options to scan your unique holdings to improve discoverability and access.
Displays Multimedia | Iron Mountain


Video and audio collections consume important vault space and much of that content might be on media types that are no longer supported. Moving the content to a storage vault with ideal temperature and humidity ranges ensures they are preserved for future patrons while digitizing them makes the content available to your patrons.
Special Library | Iron Mountain

Special Collections

Maintaining the right environmental controls for your unique material means your collections will be available for generations to come. Your library may not have the capacity to maintain the proper conditions. Moving your unique Special Collections materials offsite not only contributes to preservation, it frees up space for that next important purchase or donated collection.
Government Documents | Iron Mountain

Government Documents

Decades' worth of Government Documents can take up significant shelf space and are of little value to the larger library community. With offsite storage and next business day recall you can store these materials offsite without losing access.

Artwork And Artifacts

Iron Mountain can provide secure, ideal offsite storage for art and historic artifacts. Putting these items in offsite storage often isn’t a matter of creating space so much as protecting and preserving your library’s part of the cultural record.

Additional Services

Media Preservation & Digitization Iron Mountain Entertainment Services has industry-leading preservation capabilities and facilities that can ensure the complete protection of your assets.

Media Preservation & Digitization
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the right storage environment

Your library content includes multiple media types and different shapes and sizes. From basic library book storage to customized private vaults where you can process special collections, Iron Mountain has storage racking to house and protect your content.

We realize that your library material preservation needs vary. The storage solutions we have developed offer a variety of options that support different temperature and humidity ranges, so you don’t have to make sacrifices that put your collections at risk.

Our experience and scale allow us to offer you the right environmental controls for your content. We have standard ambient, light-climate controlled or heavy-climate controlled options. With Iron Mountain, you'll be able to meet the specific storage and service needs to safely and effectively manage your collections.
Ambient climate with a minimum temperature of 55℉
Office Conditions
HVAC temperature control set to maintain comfortable environment for people (ex. 68-70℉)
Climate Control
Temperature and humidity control with multiple possible set points (ex. 60℉/40% RH)
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Pay-for-Only-What-You-Use Storage 

When you manage your own storage annex you incur significant management responsibilities such as capital assets, staffing, management contracts and shelving systems. You are also locked into fixed budgets with fixed capacity, making it difficult to plan for projects that require larger accession and/or deaccession. On the flip side, on-campus book storage space is in short supply and could be repurposed at any time.

By outsourcing to a pay-only-for-what-you-use storage model you can respond to on-campus strategies by easily scaling up and down. You also eliminate the burden and cost of managing your annex. Choosing outsourced, offsite storage will allow you to:

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avoid fixed costs for variable storage needs

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add additional storage or remove collections as needed

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predict cost for storage and access

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reliably recall content

Reliable Access

With Iron Mountain your patrons will have access to the offsite collection through the same tools they use today. From your library patrons' perspective the user experience is seamless. They will have unmediated access to your offsite content while following your ILS or archive system access rules.

By not placing the burden of ordering remotely stored materials on your library staff you are avoiding the need to create a new circulation workflow. Ensuring that they have the time to provide a higher level of service to your patrons.

With Iron Mountain your patrons can place online orders straight through your ILS, and they will be fulfilled within one business day - either online or through our efficient transportation network:

  • orders are delivered the next business day
  • patrons choose physical delivery or digital article delivery
  • optional integration with your ILS


Premium Content Infographics and Tools Innovative Collection Management Solutions

Innovative Collection Management Solutions

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Business Woman | iron Mountain

Contact Iron Mountain

Why Iron Mountain?

Iron Mountain has the scale, resources, and expertise to work with you on any size project – whether you need to shift books between library branches or your library annex or get 100’s of thousands of volumes to your library book storage facility. Our experts in the logistics of library moving are ready to help you organize and execute your move. Bring your questions to Iron Mountain.

Start small. Start with a conversation.