“Education is not furthered by secreting books in which the university has invested funds…displayed to possible readers, the collection becomes alive with suggestion and allure.” So declares an old (1970) book called University Library Administration sitting on my office shelf (mostly for looks, and, honestly, for its ironic value.) I took a look at it today when I was thinking about a big project that we are undertaking – the rearrangement of the books and periodicals in O’Shaughnessy Frey Library. Our goal with the project: move ALL bound journals to the sublevel of the library and rearrange the books on the rest of the floors. We want to make our print collections easier to access, and since the bound journal collection is actually shrinking, consolidating it on one floor is now realistic.
A project like this is major and will involve touching nearly every volume in the library. It is kind of like the sliding tile puzzle pictured above. We’ll be compressing collections on the sublevel, opening up space on level four, and then beginning the shift of the books, finally ending back on the sublevel, to which we’ll move the rest of the bound journals. Our hope is that we can complete the shift in 12 – 18 months, using mostly student labor, under the supervision of library staff. We do not expect that any books will be “out of circulation,” though there will be work going on at some place in the stacks as the books are moved.
At the end of the project, we’ll have opened up some good spaces which we will redesign for student use and we’ll engage the community in the design and development of those new spaces. More on that in the future! We’ll keep you informed on the progress of the big shift as it moves forward.
If you have questions or comments about this project, please let us know.
– Dan Gjelten, Director of Libraries