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Work to Make American Indian Studies Library Collection More Accessible Begins

December 20, 2019

With the end of one semester, and preparations for a new semester already underway, the American Indian Studies Program is looking for ways to improve access to the collection held in its AIS Library. With the current AIS Library space only able to offer extremely limited open-hours (4 hours a day, five days a week, only during fall/spring semesters, closure during breaks, including May-September), as well as little physical space for users, the AISP faculty recognized the need to consider a change. After December 20, the American Indian Studies Library will transition to a request-only collection during Spring 2020.

On November 20, the American Indian Studies Program faculty unanimously agreed to begin the process of transferring materials in the AISP library to other libraries on campus to improve the use of resources. This process moves forward with the guidance and assistance of the General Library System (GLS). 

What you need to know: 

  • The majority of the collection will remain requestable via the library catalog
  • Reference materials will not circulate, but interested patrons may contact aisp@library.wisc.edu to use those materials
  • Requests can be picked up at another location or filled via Red Box delivery during the spring semester 
  • Processing of materials will continue through May 2020
  • AISP will retain the audio-visual material since faculty sometimes use it in classes
  • As materials are transitioned, their locations will be updated in the catalog by fall

The GLS is working with AIS to develop a plan to transition collections and services. Currently, processing the AIS holdings is anticipated to be done by May 1, 2020. Materials will remain requestable to be picked up at another location or filled via Red Box delivery during the spring semester. The GLS is assisting with logistical support to provide the best access to resources. They are committed to engaging in conversations about how libraries can be helpful campus partners, enhance services, and create positive user experiences. The GLS is committed to participating in improving shared understanding between Wisconsin’s Native Nations and UW-Madison. The assistance with this library transition as one possible way in which the Libraries can help. 

It is important to note that the AIS Library is a special-purpose library and does not report to the GLS. Departments make all decisions about special-purpose libraries. Collaboration between the GLS and the programs that oversee special purpose libraries frequently include advising on a wide range of areas. From access to collections, reviewing service models, or any number of potential changes, the GLS encourages departments to utilize our expertise. While the Libraries have undergone a significant transformation effort in recent years, the AIS Library was not included in the projected work around library consolidation.  

The AISP and the GLS will continue to share updates as the transition of the collection to other locations on campus takes place. Please visit the American Indian Studies Program website for additional information.