Why assess now?
Gettysburg College Faculty:
In Spring 2011, the librarians will begin conducting an assessment of the Musselman Library book collection. I invite faculty to participate in this process if you are interested. As you may know from your visits to Musselman Library, the building is extremely crowded. The stacks are now at 98% capacity and we calculate that we have 18 months before the shelves are full.
In Summer 2010, we removed tables and study carrels from the second and third floors in order to add shelving. We’re at the point that we cannot take away any more student study space. We are so crowded that we must get rid of one book for each new volume we purchase. That means that we must withdraw or relocate 8,000 books this year, and every year to come, just to maintain the current footprint.
We have compiled a list of books that were published before 1990 and have not been checked out since we started using our current library software in 1992. The list is subdivided by discipline. While a book’s circulation is only one measure of its value, it seems like a good starting place. As we evaluate the collection, librarians will be happy to share the list of potential withdrawals with faculty, or work out other arrangements to include your input.
I know how busy the end of the semester is, so I look forward to having a further conversation in January (2011) when you return from the break. Unfortunately the librarians have to complete this assessment before the end of the spring semester and we will be working on this project during the semester break.
Please contact me if you have immediate concerns. Otherwise, I look forward to working with you during the spring semester to whatever extent you wish to be involved in this project.
Robin Wagner, Director of Musselman Library