Renovations to the third floor of the Glenn G. Bartle Library are expected to begin in July 2021, raising concerns about the relocation of the books the floor currently holds.
The third-floor renovations will include adding lighting and study spaces, which will be funded by New York state. In plans for the four- to five-year project, University staff originally planned to relocate the third-floor books to an off-campus management facility. Students and faculty would have been able to request the material for 24-hour delivery. According to Curtis Kendrick, dean of libraries, many students and faculty expressed concern over the relocation, so another option was explored.
“Based on feedback from faculty, students and staff, we have decided to relocate the third-floor collection to the basement of the Science Library,” Kendrick wrote in an email. “This is in recognition of the importance of the collection particularly to faculty and students in the humanities and social sciences. It is fully supported by the Libraries and University administration.”
The third floor currently holds the Belle Margolis Holocaust Collection, which consists of books and documents related to the Holocaust. It also holds print periodicals and books from subject matters including English literature, philosophy, languages and political science.
The move is scheduled to begin in spring 2021 and the location of the books will be continuously updated through online library services as they move. Individuals will be able to check out the books at the Bartle Library Reader Services Desk. As for the layout, Kendrick said the library staff is still trying to determine what will be best for the basement of the Science Library.
“We are still working out things like the shelving layout, collection arrangement and how best to manage the existing ground floor collection,” Kendrick wrote.
Jill Dixon, associate university librarian for public services and collections, works closely with the Student Library Advisory Committee (SLAC) in receiving student feedback on the renovations. SLAC aims to include student voices into the renovation conversation. According to Dixon, a smaller portion of the third-floor books will also be relocated to the fourth floor of Bartle Library.
“The plan also includes distributing the overall impact of the material relocation across all disciplines in Bartle Library by relocating a smaller portion of the fourth-floor collection to the Collection Management Facility in order to move a portion of the third-floor collection to the fourth floor,” Dixon wrote in a news release on the Libraries’ website.
Dylan Favata, a junior majoring in English, said he is not impacted by the move.
“I think it’s good that they’re listening to students, but also I don’t think it was that big of a deal,” Favata said.
But others, like Keila Barzideh, a sophomore majoring in human development, said the books being moved to the off-campus facility would be frustrating.
“If the books get moved to an off-campus facility, that means a student like me would have to wait 24 hours or more to pick up that book,” Barzideh said. “Keeping the books on campus would benefit students more.”
According to Kendrick, students should not worry about books being accessible while the move occurs.
“While actively in transit, we expect that the volumes from the third floor of Bartle [Library] will be fully accessible and browsable, as they are now,” Kendrick wrote. “We will continue to communicate with the campus as the project progresses.”