Stanford University Libraries has developed a Proposal for a Combined Sciences Library at Stanford (PDF). This library would combine the collections of Falconer Biology Library, the Swain Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library, and the Mathematics & Statistics Library.
The combined science library allows for a stronger and deeper service program than is possible with separate facilities, as well as a collection more appropriate for faculty and students in these disciplines, who are primary users of digital collections. The library will provide a broad set of services and collections to support research and learning, with a focus on user services and outreach, and will embrace the move to digital collections and data services while providing access to physical collections. Perhaps most importantly, the library will foster a sense of community within the developing quad.
In the interest of transparency, we are sharing the proposal widely. Included in the proposal is a detailed, creative and data-driven vision for physical library spaces, as well as a great discussion of trends in use of online journals versus e-books. Some key points from the proposal:
- the three central elements of the new library program are collections, services and staffing, and user space.
- We anticipate a 75% reduction in on-campus physical collections in the combined science library.
- the use and acceptance of eBooks has been increasing, as more and more titles are available as eBooks.
- The reduction in on-campus physical collections and the consolidation of physical branches in the combined science library will allow a redesign of the staffing model, reducing the number of clerical and paraprofessional staff and increasing the number of professional staff. This change in staffing enables us to fundamentally change the nature of the library service, increasing the nature and extent of the services we can provide to faculty and students.
- Survey data, focus groups, usage data and comments from users all reinforce the fact that there is strong need for library space for quiet study and quiet small group collaboration.
While we are aggressively soliciting feedback from Stanford faculty, staff, and students; I’m also interested in comments and reactions from colleagues and other Feral Librarian readers. What do you think?