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K-State Today

February 24, 2020

K-State Libraries collection update

Submitted by Darchelle Martin

In several weeks, the K-State Libraries will begin the process of reshelving books in Hale Library. Initially, materials will be inaccessible to the public due to ongoing construction. It is estimated that the process will take about a year to complete.

After the May 2018 fire, the 1.5 million items in Hale Library's print collection had to be moved to various storage facilities throughout the region where each item was cleaned by hand. It took four months to pack and move all the collections, and more than a year and a half to clean the books, which was finished in January 2020. The Libraries will transport boxes from storage units back to Manhattan, unbox materials, organize the collection in call number order and return them to Hale Library to be shelved.

As previously announced, the Libraries also will take this opportunity to evaluate and curate the collection.

"All libraries, including public, academic and special libraries, engage in the practice of both selection and deselection for their collections," said Lori Goetsch, dean of Libraries. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to align our collections with the communities we serve, make sure they contain useful materials and create collections that are easier to browse."

In addition to using qualitative feedback from the K-State community, the Libraries will utilize quantitative data including usage statistics and the number of other libraries in the region that hold the exact copy of an item to make decisions.

"The goal is to make for a more usable and relevant collection by reducing duplication, items in poor condition and dated content," Goetsch said. "This will, of course, reduce the overall size of a print collection that has seen dramatic decline in circulation over the years, which aligns with national trends. It will also allow us to make some modest expansions in teaching, learning and study space in Hale Libary, a facility that was pushed to its occupancy limits pre-fire."

For more information about the process for returning materials or the curation of the collection, visit the Libraries website or contact Goetsch.