By 2011, the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library will be vacant. The library’s books will be dispersed throughout campus and among the bookshelves of other institutions.
The plan to close the library was announced earlier this week in a staff meeting with librarians, after the Office of Resource Management and Planning recommended consolidating the collection last Friday.
“Under the current budget constraints, ORMP agrees that consolidation will be necessary and will allow the library to best provide materials and services that will meet faculty and student needs,” the recommendation said.
Library officials have decided to close the PSEL and move most of the collections to other campus libraries. The majority of PSEL’s 400,000 items will be moved to Shields Library. Some or all of the biological and agricultural sciences collections and librarians currently at Shields will be relocated to the Carlson Health Sciences Library. Other books will be stored at the Northern Regional Library Facility in Richmond, or sent to other institutions.
“This was a tough decision to make,” said Helen Henry, associate university librarian for administrative services. “But moving the PSEL to Shields will free up some space that can be used for new materials.“
Architects and engineers will be examining the space in the next several months to decide what to do with the building.
The collections being sent away are duplicate books or editions that are also available online, Henry said. She expects that the services and people who work at the PSEL location currently will be relocated; however the details of such a relocation are still in the planning process.
“One less building allows us to garner our resources,” Henry said. “We have gathered to identify the specifics of this relocation and now we’re going to see what the ripple effect will be.“
Librarians in the PSEL said they are “not thrilled” about the decision but have declined to comment.
Other UC campuses are facing similar library cuts. UCLA has decreased its library’s hours of operation and is considering closing two of its campus libraries.
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at email@example.com.