The 98,000 square foot main building was completed in 1982; an 84,000 square foot stack annex was completed in 1990; and a 67,000 square foot storage module, as well as a new reading room were added in 2005. The Facility offers high density, low cost housing for infrequently used library materials belonging to northern California libraries. At this time, depositors to NRLF are libraries on the University's Berkeley, Davis, Merced, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz campuses, and the California State Library. As of June 2015, the Facility held over 6.5 million items (mostly books and journal volumes, but also microfilm, maps, audio discs, manuscripts, archives, and other formats normally collected by research libraries). Staff at the Facility receive, process, and create machine-readable records for newly deposited materials, which normally amount to about 200,000 items per year, and provide circulation, interlibrary lending and document delivery services on approximately 75,000 items per year.
Building and Shelving
In addition to public service, administrative, and processing areas, the buildings have a total of eleven floors of shelving, with a total capacity of 7.4 million volumes, and specialized storage areas for microfilms and maps. To provide the best possible environment for the books, the stack area is climate controlled to maintain a constant temperature (60F) and relative humidity (50%). Materials are stored in the stacks by four size classifications in the order in which they are received by the Facility. This means that collections, and even runs of a single journal title, may not be shelved together. As an additional space-saving measure, books are placed two-deep on each shelf.
The NRLF building was built with the following special features:
- Redundant chillers, boilers, and fans allow the HVAC system to maintain temperature and humidity within specified ranges in varying weather conditions. Loads are distributed between tandem pieces of equipment, minimizing wear and allowing down-time for maintenance. The system is monitored by microprocessor, reducing energy consumption. Alarms are issued when conditions exceed tolerances. The control system for all buildings is integrated.
- Automatic wet-pipe sprinkler system and dry standpipe system.
- Smoke detectors, air sampling smoke detection system, pull stations, and sprinkler flow detectors are connected to a continuously monitored addressable fire alarm system.
- A continuously monitored intrusion alarm system.
- Fluorescent lights in storage areas are filtered to eliminate ultraviolet wavelengths.
Services for Library Users
The Facility has a comfortable Reading Room for use of requested material and public service staff readily available to assist. Computers provide access to online Library collections and resources, like Melvyl and UC Berkeley's OskiCat Library Catalog, and to the Internet. A photocopy machine, networked printer and a microform reader/printer are also available. Please bring coins and small bills as the copier is not set up to accept credit cards or copy cards in payment. No smoking, eating, or drinking is permitted in the building. A list of local restaurants is available at the circulation desk.