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Hotel, Johnson libraries to move print collections to ILR

Within the next two years, the print collections at the Hotel School and Johnson School libraries will be consolidated with ILR's library and relocated to the ILR School. Cornell Library will continue to enhance on-site services in each school, including subject-specific research help, individual and group study space, and access to computing.

This change comes as a result of the final review of unit libraries as part of the university's strategic process, conducted by an advisory group of faculty, students and librarians. The group surveyed users of the three libraries and conducted three focus groups with students and an analysis of library data including detailed circulation statistics and service transactions.

Building on the group's work, University Librarian Anne Kenney and the three deans have committed to maintain study space and library subject experts in all three locations, appoint a single director for the three libraries, consolidate physical print collections and develop cross-functional teams across the three units.

Some of the changes take effect immediately while others will be implemented in the next one to two years. "Our goal in the process is to maintain and improve on-site, high-quality, specialized research help at all three sites; maintain the excellence of the collection; further modernize library services by responding to well-established and emerging trends in use patterns and information technology; and use available spaces and resources in a more efficient manner," said Kenney.

These goals will be accomplished by enhancing electronic access through greater coordination of collections budgets among the three schools, digitizing key resources through Cornell's Google partnership and enhancing use of E-reserve materials. The library will also look into after-hour key card access to the Johnson School library.

The three libraries' print collections will be consolidated in the ILR Library or the Annex within one to two years. "This will provide savings by reducing operational and facility costs of circulation and stacks management functions," said Kenney. "As the collections are consolidated, there will be an impact on support staff as positions will be eliminated, but this would not take place for at least another year. We will review open positions and take advantage of staff attrition to consolidate some functions as opportunities arise. We believe the need to lay off staff will be minimal."

"A single director will oversee all three libraries with a charge of enhancing services, implementing changes and increasing fiscal efficiency," Kenney said. Until a permanent director can be hired, Janet McCue will serve as the interim director, effective immediately.

An advisory committee of faculty, students and staff will be established to help guide the implementation process. Open forums and information sessions in fall 2010 will give users an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on transition plans.

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Blaine Friedlander