June 29, 2010

Engineering Library's electronic access to be emphasized as physical collection moves

In recent years, the Cornell Engineering Library's patrons have been primarily using electronic resources, and approximately 99 percent of the use of the collection consists of online materials. As part of the university's strategic planning efforts, a recent Engineering Library review emphasized how enhanced electronic collections will facilitate research and learning in the College of Engineering.

All of the Engineering Library's print materials will be moved out of Carpenter Hall by the end of next summer. The library's highest use print items will be retained in libraries on central campus. Bound journals will be relocated to the library annex, where articles can be scanned and delivered to users electronically on request. Course reserves will be moved to Uris Library, which has seating space and staffing to accommodate reserve requests. Engineering librarians will remain in the college to provide literature orientation and instruction, teaching support, online collection development and identification of improved discovery and browsing tools.

"The College of Engineering is one of the finest of its kind, and we are committed to ensuring that the teaching, learning and research needs of the college are fully met by the library," said Anne Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. "Shifting our focus to increase online resources for users, enhance the already strong support of librarians to the college and improve discovery tools while retaining onsite study space and computer access ensures that our resources are more appropriately aligned with how users are accessing and using information."

The changes come at the behest of the Advisory Committee to Re-envision the Engineering Library, co-chaired by Steven Rockey, director of the engineering and mathematics libraries, and Mark Turnquist, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and composed of faculty, students and library staff.

The committee's recommendations, approved by Provost Kent Fuchs June 9, is part of a library-wide review of many of its facilities and operations. "The careful reviews of not only the Engineering Library, but other campus libraries as well, have been very thorough and resulted in many sound recommendations," said Fuchs. "The collaborations among units in all reviews have reinforced the critical role the library plays in the excellence of virtually all departments and programs. I appreciate everyone's efforts."

Consolidation will allow implementation of recommendations to:

"I believe the committee did an excellent job in examining all aspects of the library and the associated needs of faculty, students and researchers in the College of Engineering," said the college's interim dean, Chris Ober. "Their recommendations will help to ensure that library resources are focused to best serve those evolving needs of the engineering community."

Open forums and information sessions in fall 2010 will give users an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the transition plans. Engineering library users will have access to the current study space and computers during the transition. The college will investigate possibilities and consult with the provost about the use of the vacated space in fall 2011. A list of advisory committee members and a description of the review process is available at http://news.library.cornell.edu/.