Last fall the UCLA Library created an internal study team to examine the service and materials issues associated with shifting the collections, services, and staff of the Science and Engineering Library (SEL)/Chemistry to the larger libraries. This message is to update you on the status of that study.
The internal study team collected statistics on the size and location of collections, circulation figures, gate counts, and use of electronic resources as well as more subjective information on how students and faculty use the facility. The data confirmed anecdotal observations that usage of this facility has declined substantially as collections in the life and physical sciences have shifted from print to electronic format and students’ study patterns have changed.
I received the team’s report earlier this year, and I and my senior management team have since discussed it in detail. It supports the following decisions.
SEL/Chemistry: Non-duplicated print titles not available electronically will be shifted to either the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library or SEL/Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. Lower-use titles will be stored in the Southern Regional Library Facility, from which users can page them as needed. The SEL/Chemistry facility will close to the public on June 30, 2010.
SEL/Geology-Geophysics: This facility will remain open in its current location and will continue to serve faculty and students. An analysis of its collection has been completed, which has revealed that there are significant portions that have not been digitized and are unavailable for research use in a format other than print. The facility also houses an extensive collection of maps that are currently only available in print format and that are frequently used by students, faculty, and staff in disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, and history. In addition, the space was renovated in 2003 to accommodate expanded services to students and faculty and is an integral part of the Library’s service portfolio.
SEL/Engineering and Mathematical Sciences: A new research commons has opened in what was formerly staff offices. In this flexible, technology-enabled space, students and faculty can utilize library resources, conduct research, and collaborate with one another. The space contains seating for seventy and features the following:
- E-lounge: designed to support collaborative research and learning, with comfortable seating around a large plasma screen, which can be controlled from a laptop
- Showcase station: another option for collaborative research and learning, designed to showcase “hidden” collections and data resources, researchers’ work in progress, and available resources
- Individual workstations: offer space and equipment for intensive research
- Laptops: can be checked out at the circulation desk by UCLA students and used in the research commons or elsewhere on campus.
- Two group study rooms
Let me reiterate that the UCLA Library’s primary objective is to continue to provide the faculty, students, and staff in UCLA’s acclaimed programs in the life and physical sciences with the collections, services, and facilities they need.