Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 3, 1994

MSEL to Shift Part of Book Collection to Off-Campus Site

For Ed Rosenfeld, the past several years have been something
like trying to fit a round peg into an increasingly shrinking
round hole. 
    Rosenfeld, the associate director for programs at the
Milton S. Eisenhower Library, and his colleagues have
struggled with the problem of how to make nearly 2 million
books fit into a space designed for only 1 million; how to
create a comfortable environment for thousands of students
and faculty each year in a physical plant expected to
accommodate half that number. It has been sometimes painfully
clear that something had to give. And beginning early next
year, some things will.
    Working with Provost Joseph Cooper and a 17-member
Faculty Library Advisory Committee, Rosenfeld has developed a
plan to shift by March 1996 600,000 low-use books from the
Eisenhower Library building to an office building about 25
minutes from the Homewood campus, in Moravia Park. The
library will transfer to the off-campus site each year,
thereafter, about 40,000 volume--the equivalent of what it
acquires annually.  
    Rosenfeld, who chaired the library's task force, noted
that the off-campus shelving will ease the crowding in the
book stacks, provide space to return to the library from the
New Engineering Building the Government Publications/Maps/Law
Department and make room for renovations.
    "The library collection has been growing significantly,
but no physical space has magically been added to our
building to house it all," said interim library director
Stephen Nichols. "This plan is a creative and very workable
solution that has been designed to maintain a high level of
user service, so that materials can be brought to the library
within 24 hours of their request. And the materials will be
situated in a modern space selected specifically to ensure
the material's safety."
    "For several years one of our goals has been to make the
library more inviting and easier to use," Rosenfeld said.
"The M-level new-book area, computer access to information,
the Research Consultation Office, the compact shelving and
now the transfer of certain materials are all part of our
long-range plan to achieve this goal."
    The primary questions Rosenfeld knows he will have to
answer are what materials will be moved and how will users
get them quickly when they need them. 
    "This transfer is not indiscriminate," he said. "We are
working with the academic departments to refine the lists of
materials that can be moved off campus with the least amount
of user inconvenience," he said. "And all material identified
for transfer will be tagged in Janus. If a user wants that
material to stay, he or she will have time to bring any
concerns to the attention of the resource services librarian
for the affected discipline."
    He noted that the library will continuously announce the
materials being transferred before they are moved. To get
more information about the transfer, or to offer suggestions
or comments, contact the Resource Services Department at

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