Reeves Memorial Library is entering the final stages of transforming the library to the lower level of the building to make room for a new Learning Commons that is planned to open at the start of the 2014 fall semester. Due to this new, limited space, the library has been notably downsizing its collection this semester.
Many Seton Hill University (SHU) students have expressed concern at this news, such as freshman Katie Gablick, who said, “As an avid book lover, I was disappointed to hear that so many books were getting discarded.”
However, none of these books are being removed without just cause. “Books that are falling to pieces in our hands or that have never been checked out since we automated our system about 20 years ago make up most of the books that we are pulling from the shelves,” explained SHU librarian Kelly Clever. The three main grounds for removal are poor condition, containing inaccurate information or little to no recent use.
“A lot of materials can now be found online, as well,” said Clever. “For instance, we used to collect the publications from the Vatican, but they’ve placed those on their website now. We no longer need to store the print versions here for people to have access to them.”
Clever went on to explain that there are many science, sociology, and education books that are no longer relevant or accurate because of advances made in these fields since publication. Most of the books being removed from the library have been specifically selected as inadequate by faculty within the particular field.
The unwanted books are being sent to Better World Books, an organization that takes books that libraries no longer need and resells them. Better World Books has been working closely with SHU librarians, providing boxes to send the books in. A fraction of the proceeds go to Reeves Memorial Library, who is in turn donating some of this money to Worldfund, a nonprofit organization that works to better the lives of impoverished children in Latin America.
Students are encouraged to take any of the discarded books, free of charge, as long as they check with library staff. Available books are being stacked on the floor.
The new library will involve compact shelving that maximizes the available space. The art gallery will serve as a study space for students on the first floor. The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) room will remain where it is, while the Holocaust room is tentatively going to be moved to the Holocaust Center located on third floor Admin.
This moving process began in December of 2013 and will be wrapping up by the end of this month. For more information and ongoing updates about Reeves Memorial Library, visit their blog at http://shulibrary.blogspot.com.