Consolidation FAQ

Is consolidation a result of the Library Facilities master plan and how do they interact?

The Library Facilities Master Plan took into account the work being done through the consolidation project, the need (and planning) for consolidation has been in place for years. The related work on consolidating our libraries began long before the facilities master plan process became an opportunity. The Library has more opportunities to collaborate with campus departments to reimagine how teaching, learning, research, and libraries intersect, due to the ongoing efforts to better align library services, collections, and spaces on campus.

Consolidation is a broader or more comprehensive concept than just physical space. It takes into consideration the four following facets, and decisions are made in conversation with departments.

  • Concentrate print collections using a comprehensive print management program.
  • Repurpose spaces vacated by library services for academic uses and collaborative activities.
  • Redeploy staff expertise to deliver a more robust continuum of support to users, and strengthen library liaison roles to support campus priorities in research, teaching, and learning.
  • Establish a new service model that integrates support for new forms of scholarly communication and related needs.

The Master Plan is:

  • A 25-year, long-term master plan focused on facilities.
  • Designed to help guide the future of the physical library spaces on campus.
  • Looks at how the libraries can transform to meet the ever-changing needs of our users.
  • Provides a conceptual plan to shape our future physical presence on campus, rather than an architectural design plan.

Why Are Libraries Consolidating?

With the support of campus leadership, the Libraries are aligning services, collections, and spaces to reduce our physical footprint. This process allows us to re-envision the critical support we provide to the research, teaching, and learning needs of campus.

Is consolidation related to the recent budget issues?

No, the need (and planning) for consolidation has been in place for years. The budget issues only reinforce why we need to continue to be proactive in this process.

How can I access to Library materials ?

The Library’s Collection Plan (2012) guides our decisions for what should remain on open shelves, what can be relocated to shelving facilities, and what can be withdrawn (perpetual access online, available through shared print).

Where items are sent depend on their focus, type of material, usage, as well as what location has the space to absorb the materials. Usage data is used in conjunction with user input to help inform our decisions on what is kept on open shelves and what is sent to off-site shelving. See more information on accessing consolidated collections here.

Additionally, the Libraries are invested in enhancing delivery services and have expanded the Office Delivery Project to include all faculty and staff who have a campus office address or mailbox and utilize the campus mail service to deliver materials.

Will Browsing the open stacks still be possible?

Yes! We fully understand that the browsing of print collections remains a fundamental tool for discovery and research. The Libraries add approximately 60,000 print volumes to our collection each year, and the majority of these are added to browseable stacks. In addition, the Libraries are continuing to add functionality to our online services, including a new online browsing feature for materials with Library of Congress call numbers. This feature includes a little over 60% of our collections, including some ebooks.

Is the 2014 Consolidation Working Group’s report a final decision on which libraries will be consolidated?

No, the recommendations are only suggestions and guidance to facilitate consolidation discussions and planning.

Who makes the final decision(s)? Just the Vice Provost, Provost, Chancellor, etc.?

Final decisions are directed by the Provost and the Chancellor, but include broad input from the departments and the libraries being impacted, as well as consideration of the needs and strategic direction of the General Library System.