Two major library projects underway

Library Debuts Combined Services Desk; Stack Tower Materials Shift as 200,000 Items Go to Storage

Published 07-23-2010

Two major projects are going on at the Woodruff Library this summer and fall that will improve services for students and faculty and make room for new acquisitions.

The desk area will include two self-checkouts and a separate consultation area for complex questions requiring more expertise from a reference librarian. (Reserves and laptop checkout have been moved to the Music and Media Library on lobby level 4.)

"It will create a stronger presence on the main service floor, with different types of core services together in one space. The staff will be able to answer a broader array of questions," says Frances Maloy, services division leader. "We're also hoping to get a fuller picture of faculty and student needs as they’re in the library, so we can take that information back and improve how we deliver services."

It's also more convenient for patrons to have the circulation desk on the main floor; it's been on level 3 since the library was renovated in 1996. "This will consolidate the number of service points and optimize our staff resources," says Charles Forrest, director of facilities.

Stack tower space at a critical point

The Stack Tower Project will send 20,000 linear feet of materials – some 200,000 items – to on-campus and off-campus storage. This will reduce six floors of collections to five, freeing up level 9 for immediate and future use by the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). Book movers will shift the entire stack tower collection to fill the newly vacated space, and the locations of call numbers will change.

With the stack tower running out of room, the need for more space is at a critical point. "We're removing low-use material so we’ve got room for growth of new material and providing desperately needed space for rare books and manuscripts," Maloy says.

Materials going to storage include back issues of journals the library has in electronic form, and low-use and no-use books published before 1970. Final decisions were made after faculty input on a list of these materials.

Patrons can request items from storage – online requests made weekdays before noon are delivered later the same day; those made after noon Monday through Thursday are delivered by 10:30 a.m. the next day; requests made after noon Friday are delivered by 10:30 a.m. Monday. See Emory Libraries’ Guide to the Storage Library for more information about requesting items from storage.

The stack tower will remain open during the project, and collections on all floors will be accessible.

Once materials are moved to the storage library, the shifting will begin. Books will be moved to fill the emptied shelves, and call number locations will be updated.

A rough timeline:
* Mid August through mid September: moving books to storage library.
* Mid September through mid October: shifting of collection between floors; one elevator will be reserved for movers’ use only.
* Mid October: estimated completion of project.

This process is expected to be somewhat noisy and disruptive, but workers will provide access to the aisles when patrons need it. The library asks for your patience and offers these tips:

* Give yourself extra time when looking for materials in the stacks. 
* Make sure you check your call numbers against the floor number/call number list by the elevators, especially if you’re accustomed to going to the same floor for frequently-used books.
* If you can’t find a book on the shelf, go to the library service desk on Level 2 for help.

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