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University of London Library

CRM truck London


Senate House Library is the central library for the University of London and the School of Advanced Study. It contains some two million books, 1,800 archived collections and 50 special collections. This growing list of assets was quickly filling up its own, well managed physical archives.

The challenge

A growth in student numbers, funding pressures and rising student expectations in the face of high tuition fees have threatened to create a perfect storm for the university sector.

Along with many university libraries, SHL is under intense pressure for space. Due to its ever-growing collection of books, as well as serving the needs of its members who required a quiet place to study, and collaborate.

Library Interior London

The solution

University of London required a third-party to house parts of its collection, but near enough for quick and easy access when needs demanded. The key objective was to not reduce the level of service currently provided to students whilst maintaining the integrity of the books – some of them priceless.

Crown worked closely with Nick Barratt, Director, Senate House Library to find the perfect solution for cataloguing the collection. Acid paper book marks and foil backed barcodes were introduced with PH free packaging materials. Ensuring integrity was maintained.

Crown immediately got to work, introducing market-leading stock identification and tagging technology. Books were classified by series and volume to ensure seamless retrieval. SHL are now able to simply request which books they need online. The Crown team are then notified and arrange for delivery. With two deliveries per day between the storage facilities and SHL a seamless and consistent service has been created. Whilst also ensuring that all books are handled with care.

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