When the last issue of The Lens hit mailboxes, the Library was just assembling an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Library Collection Space Planning. Composed of members nominated by academic deans and the Academic Senate, the committee was tasked with providing critical guidance to the Library on planning for the necessary relocation of materials in advance of the Addition & Renovation Project.
This past spring, the Library distributed a survey to faculty, researchers and graduate students asking about their collection use and access preferences, as well as their perceptions of the impact of alternative access strategies on research and instruction. The Advisory Committee then met over the summer to analyze the results and endorsed the findings.
The survey results indicate that, across all disciplines, most respondents do not object to offsite storage and retrieval, especially for journal articles. If a book or article can be delivered in a short period of time, only a small group of users in any discipline responded that materials must be in the Library. However, results also reveal that users in different disciplines approach and use the collections in different ways. For example, users in the arts are generally more dependent on access to original documents than users in the sciences. Informed by the survey results, the Library is developing strategies for keeping more essential materials onsite while working to develop enhanced retrieval services to mitigate the loss of onsite access to selected materials. Potential services we are exploring are office delivery of books and rapid document delivery of tables of contents, journal articles, and select chapters.
The Library is very grateful to the Advisory Committee members who dedicated their time as part of the Library Collection Space Planning Initiative. Moving forward, we will continue to draw upon what we learned about the needs and research behaviors of our users to make long-term decisions about how the Library’s collections are shaped and developed.
For access to the complete survey results and Advisory Committee recommendations, please visit