The Penn Libraries Research Annex, "LIBRA", is a 50,000 square foot facility for high density storage of the University's Heritage Collection. The facility includes archiving, electronic data transmission and computerized high density storage of books and related materials. The university library will have capacity for storage of three million volumes in the facility.


Library collections grow over time and housing growing collections is a challenge for a fixed sized library facility that may be difficult or impossible to expand.  LIBRA is being doubled in size by this project.  Books are stored in a computerized system which sorts books not by title or cataloging system but by size to maximize the storage.   The storage racks here are 30 feet tall.  A rail guided man-aboard lift is guided to the position of a given book's location to be retrieved when called for by a library user. 

Services provided included facilities programming, equipment and storage systems design and consultant co-ordination and all architectural and engineering services, as well as ongoing construction administration.  HVAC systems providing archival level controls, specialized fire suppression and super flat engineering for high lift man-aboard motorized systems were specialized services provided.