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Sunday, March 18, 2018

UA library to put bulk of books into storage | Arkansas Online

"Study space, not print editions, in demand" according to Jaime Adame, University of Arkansas Reporter.

Books fill the shelves Saturday in the Mullins Library on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus.
Photo: Andy Shupe 

Renovations to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville main campus library will result in up to three-quarters of books and other printed materials moving to a new off-campus storage facility.

The move comes as campuses nationally have seen declines in the number of items being checked out, with UA also seeking to add more group study space within Mullins Library to keep up with growing numbers of students.

About 1.2 million books and other bound printed materials sit on the shelves of the four-level, approximately 227,660-square-foot Mullins Library, said Kathleen Lehman, head of user services for UA libraries. She said the 1.2 million estimate leaves out some categories of printed materials, including textbooks kept on reserve, a collection of books for children, and oversized volumes.

An estimated 300,000 to 350,000 books and bound serials will remain after items are transferred into storage, said Joel Thornton, head of instruction and liaison services for UA libraries. Lehman said the moving will begin as soon as this summer, while renovation work is scheduled to begin in late 2018, according to information posted online by UA.

"Many libraries in the U.S. are going through this exact same process, or have been through it recently in the last five years," said Carolyn Henderson Allen, dean of UA libraries.

The number of items checked out at UA -- including some materials that are not books, such as DVDs -- decreased by about 49 percent in academic year 2016-17 compared with four years earlier. In 2016-17, initial circulations, not including renewals, totaled 31,320 across all UA libraries, down from 60,964 in 2012-13.

The decreases in circulation took place even as UA's total number of undergraduates increased to 22,548 in the fall of 2016 compared with 20,350 the fall of 2012. Last fall, UA enrolled 23,044 undergraduates and a total of 27,558 students, according to university data...

The Special Collections Department houses items such as the collected papers of former U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, as well as some nonprint artifacts of historical interest. Some items will move to the new storage facility, Lehman said.

However, as libraries evolve, the emphasis is more on such historical items than the sheer size of a collection, Lehman said.

"We're less of a warehouse for stuff that other people have, and try to focus more on what can we provide that's unique," Lehman said.

In addition to special collections, at libraries it's now "more about what journals do I have access to, how quickly can my request be fulfilled," said Lehman, adding that there is greater emphasis on utilizing networks of libraries to provide access to materials requested by patrons.

Source: Arkansas Online