Library Culls Collection to Add New Volumes

In an effort to make room for new books that will be useful for students and professors from across all seven institutions in the Claremont University Consortium, Honnold/Mudd Library is eliminating rarely used books from its collection.

the last three years we have deaccessioned about 20,000 books,” Collection Management Librarian Maria Savova said. “These were all
either duplicates or really old books that had never been used in the last 15
years. All these books were reviewed by faculty before being sent to Better
World Books.”

Better World Books is a private online bookseller that donates a
book to nonprofit organizations for each book it sells, and also gives seven percent of its profit to
libraries, according to The New York Times.

About 30,000 volumes also have been permanently relocated to the
Records Center, a storage facility two miles off campus. All these
titles remain in the library catalogue and can be retrieved for students upon request.

“Basically, we are trying to create growth space here in the
library so that we can expand and add new books that better suit our students
and faculty,” Honnold/Mudd Library Dean Kevin Mulroy said.

According to Savova, the library is currently at about 85 percent of capacity,
down from nearly full during the 2011-2012 school year. 

The library is also focusing on adding online materials such as online journal databases. 

“Our work is becoming more and more about access, not
ownership,” Savova said.

Administrators are also analyzing which types of
books are most useful for the students and faculty of the Claremont University Consortium.

“In the old days libraries tried to collect everything, but now
there is so much information digitally that we have to manage what we end up
purchasing,” Mulroy said. “So a demand-driven method for purchasing
books allows us to make sure we only get the types of books that our students
and faculty actually want.”

With this in mind, 46,000 e-books
and 15,000 physical books were added to the collection between July 2012 and June 2013.

The library is constrained not only by space, but also by finances.

“If you talk to any library dean or director, they will tell you
that there isn’t enough money,” Mulroy said. “But actually, the budget of the library has been
on an upward trajectory for the past several years.”

Mulroy explained that the inflation rate of library materials is about eight percent, compared to the national annual rate of 1.5 percent, however. The current increase in the budget is not reflective of how many books or resources the library can afford due to the divergence between the two inflation rates.

“Even though we are getting more funding, in real terms we have less money,” Mulroy said. 

Despite budget constraints, Mulroy has implemented several
projects this year, including the installation of Edward Curtis
ethnographic prints on the walls of the second floor and an undergraduate research
prize that will be introduced spring 2014. 

“There are still plenty of librarians on staff, I find all
the books I need, and the library opens and closes at the same time it always
has,” Sukanya Suksak CGU said of her experience using the library. “I think it is doing a good job.”

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