(UPDATED) Cornell’s Library Shutdown Count Up to Three

23 06 2010

So, I log into facebook and find this page being posted into my news feed.

So, this comes as a bit of surprise. But I don’t buy into it. First of all, there’s nothing online — nothing on the Daily Sun, nothing on the engineering website, no data to back this up at all. Secondly, decisions like this are usually made over the span of months, even years (for example, the physical sciences library’s shutdown was formalized in March 2009 (an attentive reader of this blog actually told me about it before the Sun even had published the story); the library did not shut down until nearly a year afterwards (and no offense to Munier, but that library was definitely one of the lesser-used and therefore more expendable library facilties on campus). Decisions like this aren’t just “made” without a great deal of debate beforehand.

The one grain of truth I can throw into this is that the master plan indicates that the facilty to replace Hollister and Carpenter is under way — but that would suggest Carpenter getting demolished, not reappropriated. Plus, that’s still in the planning phases. Maybe a library would be in the Gates Hall plans, which are currently at the very beginning of the funding and approvals process; but I doubt it at this time.

I call bullcrap on this one until some information is published that indicates otherwise (see update). If there is any truth to it, going all alarmist  and calling the office staff (like the page suggests) is just going to make matters worse.

(UPDATED) So the author of the facebook page attached several official-lloking documents detailing the removal of the library’s book to Olin and Uris. IT would appear that the ACCEL computer labs would be kept and the labs would be made into a 24-hour unit (but isn’t that the lab in Upson exists?). Meanwhile, Munier has posted onto their page a link from Mann Library saying that the Entomology Library will be shut down and merged with Mann. So it would appear Cornell’s cost-cutting will shut down two more libraries they consider “less-used”.

I hope Cornell doesn’t release any more ads touting their expansive library system anytime soon.



2 responses

24 06 2010

Before you assume it’s wrong (which it may well be), know that the Sun didn’t find out about the closing of the the Physical Sciences Library until months after the decision was posted on an obscure website deep within cornell.edu. I know because I was the very first to inform the news editors, haha. So this might be correct … I’d do a thorough search of cornell.edu.

Also the PSL was “one of the least used”, yes. But not even one of the bottom 5 in fact (there are ~20) as measured by gate traffic. Other factors that made closing it so appealing were the lenient wording in its endowment and the excellent digitization efforts of its staff (it was the furthest ahead with that). The flexible layout of the facility also raised its “opportunity cost.” I’m not surprised if Carpenter is next, since it probably also has great digital archives, as its similar in content (scientific journals that are easier to read on-line and some really useless old books).

2 07 2010
B. C.

Speaking of informing others, you’re the “attentive reader” that I’m referring to in the entry. Where did the library gate data come from?

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