The University Record, March 25, 1997

Buhr set for addition to relieve bulging shelves at Graduate Library

Bulging bookshelves at the Harlan H. Hatcher Graduate Library have prompted a major shift-and-shelve project by library staff, according to Bill Gosling, interim director of the University Library.

"Shelves in the Graduate Library are nearly 100 percent full, and we continue to add more than 60,000 volumes to the collection each year," he says.

To alleviate some of the overcrowding, more than 750,000 books for which there has been less demand have been moved to the Buhr Shelving Facility in the last 17 years, but "even with the transfer of material to Buhr, there has not been sufficient space to accommodate several rapidly expanding segments of the collections, or to regularly review the stacks to find books that are incorrectly shelved," Gosling notes.

Funds for a one-time project were reallocated in order to allow staff to shift more of the collection to the storage facility and to shelve books that had been stacked on the floor, but Gosling and Rebecca Dunkle, who heads the Library's Onsite Access Services, emphasize that a long-range solution is necessary.

To accommodate that need, plans include an addition to the Buhr facility, set for completion in early 1998.

In the meantime, progress has been made in the shift-and-shelve operation so that patrons no longer need to search through volumes stacked on the floor in the south end of the Graduate Library. Library staff are currently working at the north end of the building.

To keep library users informed of progress, guides are posted throughout the building. Users also can check progress through the Library's home page at www.lib.umich.edu.