IU's state-of-the-art Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility protects university treasures
BY MARAH HARBISON, April 3, 2018Read about the newest ALF module
The Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) is a modern and secure climate-controlled book and object repository. The facility name honors Ruth Lilly, a philanthropist whose $1 million gift helped make the facility a reality in 2002. Her father Josiah K. Lilly Jr. gifted his rare book and manuscript collection to IU in 1954, inspiring the construction of the prestigious Lilly Library.
The facility also includes the state-of-the-art E. Lingle Craig Preservation Laboratory, book freezers (to assist with treatment of water-damaged materials), space for accessioning, lending, and staff, as well as a secure collections vault with a capacity of approximately 6,400,000 bound volumes. The climate-controlled collections vault also includes a distinct film storage area with a special fire suppression system for film materials.
The following services are available from the the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) Services department:
IU Libraries is proud of our heritage and iconic structures. We have been collecting and protecting the greatest ideas for 200 years. With multiple destinations throughout Indiana University Bloomington, we are home to modern and legacy collections critical to recruiting and retaining the best students, faculty, and researchers. As higher education evolves, so do our spaces.
When campus libraries reached capacity in the 1990s, library leaders turned to off-site storage as a way to store physical items such as books, archive collections, and film. The first building was intentionally designed so that additional modules could be added over time. Recent construction completed ALF3, the first module built to contain objects rather than paper. This hybrid repository is one of the few in the nation able to provide ideal environments for a variety of collections. Five micro-climates ensure books and paper, film, various art objects, and textiles are stored in optional preservation conditions.
89,721 Total ALF square footage
61,886 cubic square feet of the art vault
38 Constant degree temperature of the film vault
13 Number of inches of each of ALF's concrete walls
200 Average number of delivery requests to the ALF each day
32 Height of bookselves at ALF2, in feet.