Libraries are known to house rows of books and offer a quiet, cozy atmosphere conducive to learning, and the Brother Edmond Drouin Library is no exception now that a massive project to improve the look of the campus resource is complete. 

A five-year project led by Cataloger Linda Lallathin with the help of Alyssa Mitchell to remove outdated books, evaluate the library’s collection, and eliminate shelving has resulted in a space where visitors can comfortably enjoy multimedia resources and study. For obvious reasons of space management and updating collections, libraries must periodically prune – that is, identify resources that are no longer relevant for the mission and the audiences and withdraw them from circulation. Although it was prompted by the construction of the Global Learning Center passage in December 2016, the library clear-out was long overdue. 

 “It’s hard to describe just how much work went into this project,” said Director of Library Services LuAnn Boris. “They would take all the books from a shelf, evaluate each book individually, and decide whether to retain it or remove it. Then, they removed all of the shelves, eliminated two shelves per section and respaced the remaining shelves to make them less crowded.” 

By eliminating shelves, they improved air circulation, and the library is noticeably brighter. A total of 115,135 items in the library’s collection were individually evaluated and 26,476 were removed. Each of the remaining items were moved, book by book, item by item, to their new home. The books that remain are targeted at students’ needs.  

“The end result is a library that is more open, more inviting, with a collection that is better suited to our patrons,” said Boris.

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