As of November 1, Smith
will join its fellow consortium members in moving some of
its library holdings to a new Five College Library Depository
(FCLD) located 32 feet beneath the surface of the Mount Holyoke
Range in Amherst.
The facility, which will eventually
house some 500,000 volumes from the five area colleges’
libraries, is housed in a two-story underground bunker that
once served as headquarters of the former Northeast Strategic
Air Command. The underground location will provide a secure,
climate-controlled storage area -- with a constant temperature
of between 50 and 55 degrees -- for many of the libraries’
lesser-used materials. It will allow the libraries to free
up valuable shelf space and to adapt their collections into
new areas of knowledge, according to a Five Colleges, Inc.
The bunker is owned by Amherst
College, which uses three-quarters of the facility’s
40,000 square feet. The Five College Librarians Council will
lease 10,000 square feet from Amherst College for the FCLD.
The storage facility’s
new project manager is David G. Spoolstra, who was hired by
the council following a national search. Spoolstra, who will
work at Amherst College in collaboration with the council,
will be responsible for organizing, managing and providing
services in the off-site shelving facility. Most of the storage
facility’s holdings will be transferred in during the
next three years.
Materials at the FCLD will be
obtainable through the libraries’ interlibrary loan
service and the facility will provide space for research.
The FCLD has been funded in part
by a $1.1 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.