Why have you modified the Stacks entry?
We removed the turnstile in an effort to improve services and make the entry to the stacks more welcoming.
For many years, the University Library has been known, colloquially, as the Graduate Library. Located across the way from the Undergraduate Library, this is only natural. Unfortunately, this has worked to create an atmosphere in which undergraduates did not feel welcome in the Library. This sense of exclusion was amplified by the Library's history of excluding undergraduates from the Stacks.
We are currently in the process of opening the Stacks to undergraduates but must first make the inside environment safer and more user friendly. Several projects are underway including creation of a retrospective reference collection area, improved maintenance of serials, creation of an area for folios, improved signage, and completion of a shift of the collection. We anticipate that the Stacks entry process will improve as we remodel the circulation desk to include reserves, make more room for items on hold, add electronic lockers to the main lobby area, and move the entry area to the front of the room.
This seems more like a rare book collection, and doesn't seem to encourage use. Why do you make me check my belongings?
We are aware of the limitations of the current system, but believe this is a necessary first step in the process of providing better stewardship for our collection.
The operations of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library provide the basis for this effort to improve the stewardship of our collection. Many of the new procedures in place in the Stacks have been borrowed from the RBML. Even though the Stacks collection is different than the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, there are still many rare and fragile items that must be protected in the Main Stacks. Previous methods of security have been unsuccessful and it will take time and additional resources to implement a better solution.
But, no scholar would knowingly harm such a valuable collection. Why do you make the University's own personnel check bags?
While the vast majority of our patrons value and respect our collection, this is not true for everyone. Over the years, many items have been stolen, damaged, and defaced by patrons. Frequent users of the collection may notice missing pages within volumes or missing items from our catalog. On several occasions, the Library narrowly averted tragedies. Several years ago, a lit candle was found in a carrel. A user had left this lit flame burning all night long in their reserved carrel. Operating without a sprinkler system at the time, the University's collection could have been irreparably damaged by the thoughtless action of a very dedicated scholar.
The requirement that individuals check belongings has been put in place in an effort to protect our collection and provide greater security for a collection that is one of the University's largest capital investments.
We will continue to evaluate the new policies, procedures, and work flows and will make modifications and improvements as needed to protect our collection and serve our patrons to the best of our ability. In the meantime, we may be able to assist you by providing a book cart to help you transport your material to your carrel. Please inquire at the desk when you check in and we will be happy to work with you on a solution. In addition, comment cards are available at the entrance to the Stacks and at the back circulation desk. We welcome your suggestions.