NRLF Phase 4 Expansion

Project documents

Role of the Regional Library Facilities

The University of California (UC) Libraries have a long-standing commitment to collaboration in support of our individual and collective university missions.  The 10 library systems of UC and the California Digital Library (CDL), a division within the UC Office of the President (UCOP), collaborate closely to build shared collections and services, lower the cost of library services at each campus, magnify the impact of library resources through widespread sharing, and lead innovative research and learning services, all in support of the UC mission. 
Following the plan established in 1977, UC built and eventually expanded two temperature and humidity controlled Regional Library Facilities (RLFs).  These RLFs provide a cost-effective systemwide capacity to house and provide access to collections off central campuses.  The Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF), located on the Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond, CA, has been receiving deposits since May 1983.  The Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF), located on the UC Los Angeles campus, has been receiving deposits since January 1987. Additional phases were constructed once at SLRF and twice at NRLF. 
The mission of the RLFs is to collect, preserve, and provide access to UC’s unique and valued collections.  In serving this mission, the RLFs receive general and archival materials from each campus and provide UC-wide access to all stored general collections.  This enables campus libraries to avoid the expensive and duplicative costs of collection preservation and access, allowing each local campus to make the best use of its available library space and resources.

RLF impact for campuses

Together the RLFs have the capacity to house 14.6 million volumes and currently hold about 13.8 million or 35% of the entire UC library collection. The RLFs accept between 250,000 and 300,000 items per year from the 10 campus libraries and are 95% full.  The RLFs are key resources in the shared print and print preservation programs in the University of California and work at the local, regional, and national level to ensure that our collections are available over the long term.  As part of this work the RLFs support digitization programs that have digitized over 3 million volumes to date. 
In addition to these services the RLFs provide shelving and access to materials at a much lower cost than campuses could individually.  Further, by consolidating collections for use across UC, the RLFs enable campuses to renovate their libraries to serve emerging uses including innovative learning spaces, such as digital scholarship centers, data commons, multimedia centers and makerspaces.

Project scope

In the past two years, the Council of University Librarians (CoUL) and the RLF directors have studied potential collection and storage management opportunities as well as potential avenues for expanded space.  Earlier space analyses enabled CoUL to arrive at two key objectives for a capacity expansion project:  first, the library facility should be efficient and effective in terms of construction and operating costs as well as preservation and access, and, second, the solution selected should be designed to meet at least 10 years (i.e. 3 million volumes) of growth.
Based on our analysis, the Shared Library Facilities Board (SLFB) and CoUL concluded that the expansion of NRLF is the most feasible and cost-effective solution to meet UC campus needs.  The proposed project will serve all ten UC campuses, providing sufficient  growth for the next 10 years with a total added capacity of 3,100,000 volumes.

Project timeline

Target dateMilestoneStatus
9/2/2016Feasibility study launchComplete
10/21/2016 Design team selection and contracting completeComplete
10/31/2016 SLFB provides input to NRLF4 team on RLF storage deposit questionComplete
1/31/2017Design team completes studyComplete
3/1/2017NRLF4 team revises study based on SLFB/UCOP inputComplete
Spring 2017Presentations to key stakeholders on project scope and needIn planning
Summer 2017Proposed start date for next phase of engineering plans 
Summer/Fall 2017Proposed start date for construction 
Spring 2020Proposed completion date for construction