by Richard Chumney–
Veterans of Virginia Tech’s Newman Library may have noticed some stark changes in the past weeks. Dozens of shelves, on multiple floors, have been stripped empty of books to make room for new study spaces.
From Newman’s first to fifth floor nearly a quarter of all books and various collections have been moved to two Virginia Tech operated off-site storage facilities. According to Mark Kucask, assistant dean and chief of staff of Virginia Tech libraries, the decision to remove certain materials was based on the frequency of use. Books that were checked out less frequently were more likely to be relocated.
Patrons will still have access to the relocated collections, however, they will have to submit a request to the library prior to viewing their desired material.
According to the University Libraries’ website, the reorganization effort is a part of the larger Beyond Boundaries initiative.
Newman Library’s fourth floor will be the focus of most of the changes, including a complete renovation.
Virginia Tech’s library is a popular place for students to study or to complete groundwork, however many struggle to find free seating. University officials hope the recently cleared space will allow the creation of new study spaces and students labs, helping to alleviate Newman Library’s congestion.
As libraries continue to transition to digital collections the physical space required to hold collections declines. In the meantime, much of the floors within Newman Library remain dominated by shelving. No specific date for their removal has been set, however, the renovation is scheduled to last through 2017 and into 2018.