Meredith Stafford, staff writer
The Memorial Library is in the process of relocating its Young Adult (YA) and Children’s collection from Cook 105 to the library. It is being moved into the space in the library that, in the past, housed the bound periodicals, reference, GHP and oversized collections. The changes will be made in the coming weeks.
According to Associate Director Jeremy Worsham, the moving of the Bonner Program into Cook necessitated the change. However, Worsham added that the library had wanted these materials to be more accessible to the campus community. The new space—outside of the Commons area—will include new counter height bookshelves and new furniture.
“It gives us a little more flexibility with the display,” Worsham said. “The picture books are a lot thinner and so we’re able to put them in a type of shelve that makes it a lot easier to find those.”
While the library was optimistic that the space would be ready for the beginning of the semester, Worsham explained, manufacturing delays pushed the date back. The new installments were set to ship this past week and currently, the library is looking ahead to Oct. for a hopeful finish date.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the use of the collection increase and hope that the space will be a welcome and exciting addition to the library,” Worsham said.
Additionally, Sherre Harrington, library director, said that the housing of the YA and Children’s section in Cook had an adverse effect on the collection’s usage.
“While we continued to add books, we know that use fell when we moved it there,” Harrington said. “No matter what hours we experimented with, it wasn’t really sustainable to keep the space open all of the time that a student might wander.”
The change began in late spring of this year according to Harrington and the library decided that moving the section to the library would be beneficial.
“Everybody thought that bringing the collection here would be a really good idea especially if we could create a sense of place for it that would, to some degree, mirror what teacher education students might encounter when they’re actually in the field,” Harrington said.
According to Harrington, the books were moved out of Cook over the summer and student staff worked to reorganize the collection based on a new organizational scheme. The previous method of using the Library of Congress classification proved to be unsuitable for organizing children’s books.
“We expect the collection will get a lot more use, both by students in classes but also by students who just love kids’ books,” Harrington said.
Harrison also explained that the reason the library is able to utilize this space is because of the comprehensive review of the print journal collection that they have been doing for the past two years. The library reduced the space the collection took up by withdrawing the print journals that were electronically duplicated. Other small collections joined different subsections in order to make room for the YA and Children’s collection.
Director of Teacher Education Lawrence Baines is excited for the prospect of the new section. The collection was visited more often by students previously, but during the COVID pandemic, the space in Cook saw less interaction. While the new space will have different shelving, Baines explained that he hopes to make the space more interactive for students in the future.
“I’m hopeful for the future, that we can make it where people want to go hang out in the library,” Baines said.
Baines is looking forward to bringing new voices in literature to the library collection. The collection will be including newer, diverse young adult literature by more diverse authors in the hopes to showcase different perspectives.
“They’re fresh books, they’re new books, books by diverse authors, they’re young books,” Baines said. “I think that would benefit the library. I think it gives it a lot of life.”
Baines is optimistic that the changes in the library will be visible shortly and feels that the process of collaboration has gone well.
“I think the librarians have been great,” Baines said. “They’ve been outstanding to work with.”