The Guardian has a great piece on a warehouse being built outside of London, a warehouse where thousands upon thousands of books will be stored forever and ever, amen:
It reminds me of visiting an empty power station in south London before they started filling it with art galleries and calling it Tate Modern: the scale induces awe. This will be the £20 million new depository at the British Library's Yorkshire complex in Boston Spa near Leeds. It is where, before this century reaches its teens, copies of books spared a quick death at the pulping plant - thanks to the grace of the provisions of the 1911 Copyright Act and later government legislation - will go to serve their life sentences in a secure environment. "We need this warehouse," says Steve Morris, the British Library's head of finance, "not just because it is cheaper than existing rented warehouses we use in London, but also because we are statutorily obliged to house more and more material. Seven million items, many of them books, will go there. The death of the book has been grossly exaggerated, you see."
Indeed, the problem for our great libraries is that books won't stop coming. The British Library's UK national collection is currently expanding at the rate of 12.5 kilometres of shelf space a year, and somewhere has to be found to put it all. In 1911, the notion of the copyright library was born, when Parliament decided that the British Library along with five others in Great Britain and Ireland would be entitled to receive a free copy of every item published. But, while the other five - the Bodleian at Oxford, Cambridge University Library, Trinity College Library in Dublin, and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales - have a right to claim any book published in the UK, in practice not all are. Cambridge University Library, for example, estimates that only between 70% and 80% of everything published in the UK are deposited there (they can also request anything within one year of publication). By contrast, the British Library must receive a copy of everything published in the UK each year.