Optimizing Space and Accessibility While Downsizing FCC Library

In anticipation of its headquarters move, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Headquarters Initiative to reduce physical space requirements. ZAI collaborated with FCC staff and led a project to shrink the library’s physical footprint, while ensuring FCC staff received the same level of quality service.

ZAI analyzed the existing collection and determined that many of the physical resources were duplicated in the Agency’s database subscriptions. Keeping these items on the shelf wasted not only the physical space, making the collection more difficult to navigate and prevent growth of more useful resources, but also meant the online resources were not being used to the fullest extent.

ZAI went through the entire physical collection, identifying and removing resources that were part of current database subscriptions, making exceptions for print items that are still frequently used or of archival quality. In less than six weeks, ZAI was able to reduce the size of the general collection by 9%, legal materials by 17%, and microfilm by 72%. This achieved the FCC’s space saving goal—even after factoring in room for future growth of key collections.

The project yielded remarkable results for the FCC Library. In the first month after the duplicate materials were removed, both database use and physical circulation increased by 30%.