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Thursday, November 8 • 11:30am - 12:10pm
Librarians are the enemies of scholarship!* Print collection management during a major renovation

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The University of Virginia is preparing for a complete renovation of its main library, an endeavor which has caused no shortage of angst for patrons who are concerned about the accessibility and vitality of the collection during a years-long renewal project. One of the key concerns is the removal of 80% of the books to near-site storage, leaving only 500,000 titles available on central grounds. After all, how can researchers and students in the humanities serendipitously browse collections if most of them are off in storage?

In this session, we will discuss how the University of Virginia is addressing researcher and student concerns to create a vibrant and useful corpus of materials during a time of significant disruption to library collections and services. We will give an overview of our community engagement processes in creating an interim collection, discuss our philosophy of what the interim and post-renovation collections should look like, and provide a deep dive into our quantitative and qualitative metrics informing the selection process for rehousing items during the renovation.

Our intent is to provide session attendees with tools which can be adapted for their individual library infrastructure projects. In addition, we will offer information on our successes and failures so that attendees can learn from our experiences to thoughtfully and proactively engage with their communities around collections issues, help manage rumors, and create a shared vision of a revitalized library for future scholars.

*Yes, that is an actual quote from one of our scholars.


Beth Blanton-Kent

Collections Librarian, University of Virginia Library

Timothy Morton

Manager, Resource Acquisition & Description, University of Virginia Library