May 19, 2022

Shared Collections: 55,000 Sq. Foot Emory, Georgia Tech Storage and Service Facility Opens in Atlanta

Highlights, links, and videos from two reports follow.

From Emory University:

The state-of-the-art Library Service Center (LSC), created by Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology to house a shared collection amassing millions of books and other materials, formally opened Thursday after a joint dedication ceremony.

Stretching across 4.6 acres near the back of Emory’s Briarcliff Property, the climate-controlled 55,000-square-foot facility was developed to create a seamless, unified collection of materials that will be available to faculty, staff and students at both campuses.

The LSC will house around 95 percent of Georgia Tech’s collections and much of Emory’s collections, with projections of reaching more than 2 million volumes by this summer. Items will be available for delivery to the main campuses at both universities.


Not only will the LSC provide optimal conditions for the secure, long-term preservation and storage of books and related materials — including film and microform collections — it brings key content from two major research university libraries under one roof, expanding access to a broad range of resources and freeing up campus spaces.


During Thursday’s dedication, Catherine Murray-Rust, vice provost for learning excellence and dean of libraries at Georgia Tech, observed that there are now more than 40 such shared facilities across the country, adding that this is “surely the most technologically advanced and the most beautiful of them all.”

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From the Georgia Institute of Technology:

Only about 17 percent of Georgia Tech’s and Emory’s collections overlap, which means that “together we have an exceptional collection that benefits both campuses,” says Yolanda Cooper, university librarian at Emory. “Our goal is to leverage the services we can provide across both institutions, enhancing our ability to meet the changing needs of users and to develop new resources and tools for use in research, teaching and learning.”

Features of the Library Service Center include:

  • The 55,000-square-foot secure, climate-controlled facility has state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The archive module is 30,000 square feet and 25,000 is used for processing materials and special handling.
  • High-density shelving is designed to ensure the long-term preservation of and access to library collections.
  • A reading room allows users to consult materials on site, so that they can make more precise selections to be delivered to a campus library for use.
  • Two deliveries per day of physical items to campus locations are scheduled, with a mediated service available for rush/on-demand delivery. Electronic delivery of scanned content, such as journal articles and conference papers, also is available.
  • A virtual browsing solution is in the planning stages; it would offer a similar serendipitous experience to finding a valuable new book by chance.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.