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University Relations

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April 25, 2006
Contact: Bill Myers, University Libraries, (785) 864-8921.

KU to open Library Annex on west campus that will hold 1.6 million volumes

Library Annex

Newly constructed Library Annex

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries will formally dedicate the newly constructed Library Annex with a ribbon cutting at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at 1880 Westbrooke Drive on KU’s west campus. Chancellor Robert Hemenway and David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor, will speak.

The $5.8 million Library Annex has a capacity of 1.6 million volumes. It is designed on the high-density model pioneered by Harvard University and adopted subsequently by more than 50 other research libraries including those at Cornell and the universities of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. The 7,877 square-foot storage area includes 9,000 shelves in units 35-feet tall, 4 1/2-feet long and 3-feet wide.

Materials housed in the annex will be identifiable through the libraries’ catalog and retrievable on request within 24 hours.

The University Libraries include more than 4 million volumes in six libraries on the Lawrence campus and one on the Edwards Campus in Overland Park. The libraries add nearly 50,000 volumes to the collections annually, requiring the addition of 1.6 miles of linear shelving space each year.

The Library Annex will relieve overcrowded stacks and enable the libraries to increase the space available for library users. Circulating materials will be reshelved more quickly and stacks will be less densely packed with materials, making shelf-browsing easier for library users. More individual study and group study spaces will be configured as well.

“One of the real advantages of the Library Annex is the climate-controlled environment that is essential to the preservation of the materials housed here,” said Stella Bentley, dean of libraries. “A facility like this ensures the availability of this material to researchers and scholars for many years to come.”

The University Libraries already have nearly 250,000 volumes housed in two temporary annexes. Additional volumes to be housed in the new annex are being identified by KU faculty working with library staff.

Marlan Construction of Lawrence was the general contractor, and PGAV Architects of Westwood designed the structure.

Consult the Library Annex Web site for further details at


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045