Approximately 1 million books will be moved from the Mary Couts Burnett Library to an off-campus warehouse beginning this summer as part of the library renovations.
Dr. June Koelker, dean of the library, sent out a letter to university faculty Friday about upcoming renovation plans, new services and collection changes happening in the library.
Because the university's curriculum has expanded and student body has increased, the book collection continues to grow. In the letter, Koelker stated the biggest complaint from students in the past has been the amount of seating space available in relation to the amount of books.
Koelker said the focus is no longer one that favors book stacks, but one that favors student seating. She said the library staff has done all they can to fit seats without getting rid of books.
To begin renovations, the university bought a warehouse two miles from campus to store 1 million books, Tracy Hull, associate dean of the library, said.
Hull said the university will hire movers to transport the books effectively and efficiently when the warehouse is complete. The warehouse is scheduled to be completed in July or August.
“They are doing a lot of work on the warehouse to get it ready to hold our books,” Hull said.
Before the books can be moved, a new barcode must be made and attached to each book to serve as a location indicator, Hull said. Student workers and staff workers have already started working on this.
Hull said that books that have circulated once or more in the past 10 years and newly acquired books will stay on campus.
The library will offer new services to accommodate the new arrangement. Requested article and book chapters will be scanned offsite and then emailed to the requester in the same day, Koelker said. A courier service between campus and the warehouse will be available once the warehouse is operational.
Hull said virtual browsing software will be developed so users can browse the offsite collection, and in some cases, look inside the book.
With these new services, the library will need to hire more employees and possibly move current employees, Koelker said.
“We need to determine what the workload will be and the skills that will be needed in both locations,” Koelker said.