I would like to tell you about an important project that is underway. A very thorough and careful review has been conducted of the libraries’ ongoing and future needs for space and services, including space for group and individual study, the Writing Center, the physical collections, and the Erneston Music Library. A comprehensive renewal and master space plan was developed with input from all library faculty and staff. The plan was shared with and endorsed by the Library Services Committee in February 2015 and reaffirmed in September. In the spring, we shared the plans with the interim provost and the Council of Deans and obtained their support to begin implementation.
Many of the changes envisioned for the Music Library were realized over the summer. The project has achieved noticeable improvements by reorganizing and reducing the size of its physical collections, changing furnishings, and adding lower shelving that lets in more light and creates a more open and inviting environment. The difference between the old appearance and functionality and the new one is remarkable. A similar transformation is planned for the Belk Library and Information Commons, though at a much larger scale.
The Belk Library renewal project addresses the need for expansion of services and student seating, along with room for growth for new books. In the course of a year, greater than 1.24 million visitors come through our doors - more than 11 years of home football games. The number of physical visits has risen 73% over the ten years that the library has been open, which is three times increase in student enrollment over the same period. Student work space is at a premium. The Writing Center is a popular service that needs to increase its space to meet demand. Other high demand services – the Digital Media Studio and the Idea Factory – also require expansion and need to be in close proximity to facilitate collaboration between their services.
Library Collections Review
Our collections continue to grow. Approximately 16,000 new print books are added each year and the University Archives add 350 linear feet of materials per year. To address the current and future needs for services and collection growth, a comprehensive review of the collections has begun.
A list has been generated of books in the main stacks that have not circulated for more than 20 years on campus or through interlibrary loan requests. Each of these titles will be reviewed individually by library faculty to determine whether to retain the book in the collection. We invite all faculty to participate in the collection review, and the library has created a web site that provides an open process for faculty input on the list of titles under consideration. The open review period will be from October 14, 2015 through November 6, 2015.
For details about the project and access to the list of books under review, please refer to:
An additional website is being developed to provide information about the whole renewal project, and as it progresses, we will keep you informed of developments and changes that affect access to library collections or services.
We thank all of the faculty and staff who have worked with us to make the project a success.
Joyce L. Ogburn
Dean of Libraries
Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor
Appalachian State University
218 College Street
Boone NC 28608-2026