Books moved off campus to make space for construction

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    Nearly 800,000 books were moved off campus as the Mary Couts Burnett library prepares for a lack of space during construction.

    The move to the annex frees up additional space for studying, which will be needed next fall when the east portion of the library is closed for renovations. The annex is a warehouse located at 3000 W. Bolt St., about a five minute drive from campus.

    June Koelker, library dean, said books were selected to be moved off campus based on a variety of factors including circulation rates, faculty opinions and date of purchase.

    “We were cognizant of giving faculty a voice in this,” Koelker said. “[And] we looked at circulation, which we felt gave everyone on campus a voice.”

    Items that have been moved to storage will still be available through a courier system, according to an email Koelker sent to the student body.

    “Depending upon demand, we’re looking at [making runs] twice a day, Monday through Thursday, maybe once on Friday and then once on Sunday,” James Lutz, director of library administrative services, said. “The demand right now is still pretty low.”

    Lutz said the library annex allows items to be stored in a single location. The university previously leased another off campus facility for more than 10 years before bringing all the materials to the new warehouse.

    Lutz also said the annex will remain part of the university’s vision for the future.

    “The original campus library was built in the 1920s, then we added on in the 1950s, then the next was the 80s,” he said. “We’re hoping this facility will carry us at least until the 2030s or 40s.”