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UD Library looking at books on shelves
As a result of the collection review process, the UD Library will have more space to create and expand services and ensure its collection is kept up to date.

UD Library looking at books on shelves

Collection review begins with hope of maximizing space

Space is a hot commodity all over campus—and the same is true in Morris Library. The University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press (https://library.udel.edu/) staff are finding every available library study space is occupied earlier in the semester than before and users are staying for longer periods of time.

As the ways in which students and the greater UD community engage with the library’s collections, services and spaces continue to evolve, the staff continually reevaluates the use of library space. In recent years, this reevaluation has led to the creation of additional group study rooms, the Multimedia Writing Center, the Graduate Student Research Room and the room that holds the Biden collection.

At present, both Morris Library and the Library Annex, the offsite storage facility, are at capacity in terms of shelving the collection. For the first time since the expanded Morris Library opened in 1987, the library is undertaking a systematic and structured collection review process to create space for new and expanding services.

Subject liaison librarians actively work throughout the year with faculty and campus academic departments to assess research needs and order materials for their respective disciplines.

During a collection review, subject liaison librarians assess the library materials in their area of expertise using criteria based on the needs of the respective departments to determine which titles and volumes are appropriate to remove (or “withdraw”). These decisions are shaped by the needs of each discipline.

Materials that will be withdrawn from the collection are generally duplicates of older works and print versions of materials that are available electronically through the Library’s expansive digital platforms. Outdated material in areas where it is particularly important to have the most up-to-date information, such as with nursing and some other scientific disciplines, will also be withdrawn. With this in mind, the review will ensure the library maintains the most relevant and accurate materials for teaching, learning, research and service interests.

The library’s collection review project is being carefully coordinated by Susan Davi, the head of the collection management and licensed electronic content department.

Throughout the collection review process, some material will be moved to the Library Annex, rather than withdrawn. For the withdrawn books, the library works with Better World Books, a social venture that recycles and redistributes the books in support of non-profit literacy-based organizations and libraries in need.

As a result of the collection review, you may see empty shelves as the collection shifts.

The library’s mission continues to be the advancement of teaching, learning, research and discovery for the UD community by providing access to information worldwide. It is this mission that pushes us to think of more effective ways to reach students, faculty and the greater community. In the 21st century, the library must provide a variety of collections, spaces, services and tools for students and faculty who want to explore both traditional and evolving modes of scholarship.

This collection review, as well as future library renovation and space reallocation, will make the library a one-stop location for the needs of the UD community. More than an access point for books, the library will continue to be the place where individuals can create, collaborate and discover.

If you have any question, please reach out to Shelly McCoy, associate university librarian for communication and space planning, at x6363 or via smccoy@udel.edu.

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