The University of New Mexico
Select resources for off-site storage with confidence and transparency
"Having the GreenGlass data has just been critical because, most importantly, it has given us the means to have meaningful and very data-driven discussions with our faculty, something that we know that they have appreciated."
Associate Professor and Director of Collections, The University of New Mexico's University Libraries
The University of New Mexico's University Libraries have about 3.5 million items in four buildings, explained Susanne Clement, Associate Professor and Director of Collections. The main Zimmerman Library, designed by John Gaw Meem in the Spanish Pueblo style, opened in 1938. While beautiful, the historical significance of the building makes renovation difficult, explained Susanne. "Even the metal poles that hold up shelving [are] actually part of the structural design. You can't do any reconfiguration of floors in that particular tower, which means it can only be used for shelving."
Library staff determined that shelving space in the Zimmerman Library was between 76% and 97% full. To get to "somewhere between 70% and 75% capacity, we would have to remove between 120,000 and 180,000 items," said Susanne. The library was preparing for a large weeding project, but the acquisition of University of New Mexico Press allowed library staff to convert the press's warehouse into the South Campus Repository (SCR). Susanne explained, "We are going to be able to install proper library off-site storage shelving," giving the SCR a capacity of about 1.5 million items of lesser-used monographs and of periodicals. But a shift of this scale introduces many challenges.
"Being as transparent as we have been, being able to give faculty the opportunity to look at the data if they wanted to… the responses we've had so far have been very, very positive from our faculty."
"We've certainly known about GreenGlass® for quite a long time," Susanne said. "We also talked with a lot of libraries about their experiences, even had an opportunity to look at some of the raw data that GreenGlass provided and the web interface. We knew what it would look like before we even committed to go with GreenGlass," she said.
Library staff talked to every department in the university about moving things to off-site storage. Using GreenGlass data, "We gave them an overview of how much is there, how much of it had not circulated," Susanne said. Similar to national data, library staff found that about 40% of their collection had never been checked out. Library staff proposed to the English department that anything published before 1960 that hadn't circulated in at least the last 15 years be moved to off-site storage. "And they said, ‘You're being way too conservative. Go at least up to 1970.'"
Because the library staff was able to support their recommendations with real, up-to-date data, faculty have been largely supportive of the effort to move books to the SCR. Susanne credits GreenGlass for providing her with the tools she needed for these conversations. "The real benefit for me is the collection analysis that I can do with it," she added. "I think that what we have found using GreenGlass is that we're going to make collections easier to use."
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