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Library reorganizations continue

Joe Trombello | Monday, December 8, 2003

The transfer of material from portions of the Hesburgh Library’s tower to the newly renovated lower level has occurred faster than expected, according to library personnel. According to Marcie Simons, stacks supervisor, the move of materials from sections of floor 13 and the whole of floors 4 and 5 to the lower level’s movable storage space is six months ahead of schedule. Only resources from the fourth floor remain to be moved.”I have very good people making the move,” Simons said. “The people that we ended up hiring have done a phenomenal job.”Simons said that the transfer of resources would provide space for seven to 10 years of resource growth. Although plans for the newly created shelf space have not completely been determined, it is probable that material from other portions of the tower – as well as other library branches including Chemistry-Physics – will be transferred to create a more even allocation of resources.Nigel Butterwick, associate director for user services, said that the move would probably be completed by next February or March.Although numerous resources, including updates to the library Web site, bookmarks located at reference and circulation desks and signs near the first-floor elevators, exist to inform users of the move’s progress, no signs currently exist on the lower level to provide a detailed location of resources. Library officials said these signs will be available soon.”We wanted to get feedback as to what … people are looking for,” Butterwick said. “We have had a designer in and quotations for signage … should be progressing fairly soon.”Butterwick also said that he and other library officials have been pleased with the popularity and quietness of the lower level, which contains numerous locations for students to study individually or in groups.”The most striking thing is although we haven’t designated it [the lower level] as a quiet zone, that’s in effect what it has become,” he said.The renovation of the Hesburgh Library basement is only part of an entire proposed renovation of the building. Although funding has been proposed and the renovation is part of Notre Dame’s Capital Campaign, Jennifer Younger, director of University libraries, said that she remains uncertain when funding will be available for further renovation.”[We have] no sense of when any funding would come through,” she said. “It could be one year, it could be five.”Younger said that the most pressing renovation will occur to the library’s first floor, in order to provide better use of concourse space, greater ease of traffic flow and emphasis on user services as well as perks like a possible adjacent cybercafe and reading area.A renovation to the Chemistry-Physics Library is also in the works, pending funding and discussions with science faculty as to their desires for the newly renovated space.Due to lean budgets and the rapid growth of periodical costs, resource cuts for the 2003-2004 year have been completed. Younger said, however, that because the library remains fully budgeted, the budget will need additional funding in order to avoid more cuts for the 2004-2005 year. Younger said that library officials are busy putting together various scenarios to explore their range of options.”The Provost’s Office recognizes the dire shape we are in and is looking to provide additional funds,” she said. “[However, we] are not at all clear what will be possible … the whole University is very lean on budget issues.