FAQ – Library Transitions & Consolidations/Fall Qtr. 2013

Library Restructuring

Q.  How has the Library been restructured?

A.  The Library has transitioned from a decentralized organization, set up to manage numerous discipline-based branch libraries to one that is more centralized, streamlined, and operationally cohesive in serving the needs of the campus community. Our new structure, which has been shaped by the Library’s strategic planning process, consolidates library services and resources into a single campus library entity while continuing to offer excellent and responsive user services that can adapt to and meet the various needs of the academic community. 

Q.What happened to the remaining discipline-based branch libraries?

A.  As of July 2013, as part of this restructuring, the Arts, Science & Engineering, and Social Sciences & Humanities libraries—as well as the Biomedical Library—all became part of one unified library organization. Our name has changed as well, from “UC San Diego Libraries” to “UC San Diego Library.” This name better represents our new organization.

Q.  How are faculty, students, and other library users being impacted by this restructuring? Will the level of service I receive from the Library change in any way?

A.  We do not anticipate that the organizational restructuring of the Library will have a negative impact on faculty, students, and other users, and, we will do all we can to minimize the impacts of the changes. Our users will continue to have access to the many services and resources—both physical and digital—that they have come to expect from the Library. Library staff will continue to provide core library services, such as Book Check-Out, Reserves, and Interlibrary Loan. Library staff with discipline expertise will continue to provide expert subject-based support and advice. Outstanding research collections will continue to be developed and made available. Library services and resources will continue to be provided from four buildings: the Geisel Library, the Biomedical Library building, the Scripps Archives and Library Annex, and our Trade Street Storage Annex. Our aim is to continue to deliver excellent and responsive services and resources. We will continue to solicit input from various campus constituencies to ensure that library services continue to meet campus needs. If users feel unduly impacted by this restructuring or notice that something isn’t working for them, we would greatly appreciate that feedback.

Q.   With the transition to one Library, what has happened to the staff and the services and resources that were offered by these separate libraries?

A.  Many of the same services and resources are continuing to be offered in the same locations and, in many cases, they are being provided by the same staff members and librarians. While some staff reassignments have occurred and some services and resources have been relocated to different spaces, we do not anticipate that any of these changes will significantly impact library users.

Q.  Why have you restructured in this way and what do you hope to achieve by doing this?

A.  The Library’s new organizational structure is intended to help us effectively and efficiently deliver the services and information resources needed by UC San Diego faculty, students, and other users, with the reduced staff, financial, and space resources now available to us. It will also give us a more focused, efficient, and nimble way to redefine library services so that they reflect the evolving needs of the UC San Diego community. These include an increased demand for digital services and resources, a continuing decline in the use of physical library resources, and a desire for a variety of spaces for study, scholarship, and community. This transition—from print and physical access to digital and virtual access— is a significant and continuing trend, spurring major changes at academic libraries across the nation.

Q.  Are faculty members still working with the same subject specialists? Will the Library continue to have advisory groups?

A.   While some changes have occurred, faculty members are continuing to interact with and receive guidance and assistance largely from the same expert library staff. We are also continuing to actively solicit feedback from faculty to ensure that we are providing the best service we can with available resources. Now that the new organizational structure is in place, the Library does plan to create new advisory committees to maintain open and continuing dialogue with faculty and other users.

Q.  How has the consolidation of the discipline-based libraries impacted study space in Geisel? What about the Biomedical Library space?

A.   The consolidation of the libraries in Geisel has not impacted library study space. Now that the Geisel Overnight (24/5) Study Commons is available and additional Geisel study spaces have been created, there is more study space available in Geisel, not less. Users should see no difference in the study space available in the Biomedical Library building.

Our new organizational structure includes a program devoted to ‘Library Spaces,’ which has been tasked with managing the user spaces in all library buildings and identifying new and innovative ways to enhance those spaces to accommodate the changing needs of students and faculty.

Collection Consolidation Efforts 

Q.  Why has the Library been consolidating its collections?

A.  Collection consolidations have been necessary to accommodate our smaller footprint—from seven to four physical locations. As a result of these consolidation efforts, our collections now reside in: the Geisel Library; the Biomedical Library building; the Trade Street Storage Annex; and the Scripps Archives and Library Annex.

Collection consolidations have also been precipitated by previous budget cuts, which required us to implement a wide range of cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of print journal subscriptions duplicated in electronic versions and at other UC campuses. We have also seen an overall decrease in the purchasing of new books and journals. While these cuts may have led to a reduced number of materials here on campus, the Library remains committed to providing just-in-time acquisition and delivery of materials. Increasingly, this has meant a high priority for digital resources or provision of digital access to materials as they are needed and requested.

Q.  What criteria have you used to make these consolidation decisions?

A.  Our guiding principles for the location and arrangement of the physical collections have been: ease of access and preferred use; proximity to the academic divisions and schools that use the materials; and the integration and clustering of collections that support complementary academic divisions.

Our focus has been on the withdrawal of only those materials—mostly older journals and monographs—that have not been used over the last decade, are available in digital format, and are available at other UC libraries or at one of the UC Regional Library facilities. Our library collection coordinators, who have significant subject and bibliographic expertise, have managed the review of materials for possible withdrawal. Unique and rare materials, such as those from our Special Collections, have not been included in this review process.

Q.   How long has this process taken and what materials have been involved?

A.   In fall 2013, we embarked on the fourth year of our collections consolidation effort and expect to be completed by the end of the year. Most recently, all reference titles, which were formerly distributed in multiple locations, have been consolidated into one area in the west wing of Geisel Library. In the academic year 2012/13, we also completed the consolidation of materials from the former IR/PS Library into Geisel Library. Previously, materials from the Medical Center Library were also consolidated into the Biomedical Library collections. The Library has also completed the installation of compact shelving on the first floor (East wing) of Geisel Library, which has enabled us to consolidate bound journals from science collections within Geisel and from the Scripps Library. Selected materials—including duplicated and dated items—from both these collections are housed in the Library’s Trade Street Storage Annex or in the Southern Regional Library Facility, and are available on request.

Q.  How are the consolidated collections arranged?

A.  In general, the Library’s collections are being consolidated and integrated in the Geisel and Biomedical Library buildings, in consistent call number order. Lesser-used materials are being stored in our offsite Trade Street Storage Annex or added to the UC Regional Storage facilities. Our plan has called for locating reference materials, actively used books, and print journals published since 2000 in the Geisel and Biomedical library buildings.

Geisel collections include materials in the arts and music, humanities, social sciences, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the marine sciences, in addition to East Asia materials, and the holdings of Special Collections & Archives. All these materials, including the general Scripps collections—but excluding reference, special collections, East Asia, and media or other special format materials—are being arranged in one call number sequence.

The Biomedical Library building will continue to house collections in biological science, medicine, and pharmacology materials for the foreseeable future.

The Scripps Archives and Library Annex (on the third floor of the Eckart building of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus) includes the Scripps archives, scientific expedition reports, and other special collections, including the Hubbs collection, nautical charts, and selected maps and atlases. These materials are accessible through the Library’s online catalog, Roger, and are available for physical use by arrangement through Special Collections & Archives (858-534-2533).

Q.   What other changes to the collections can we expect to see?

A.   While we have consolidated and increased our capacity for library materials in Geisel Library, we have temporarily relocated some materials from Geisel to the Trade Street Storage Annex. These materials include social sciences and humanities oversized materials and pre-1990 bound journals from the science and engineering collections. While many of the journals are available online, the Library has been providing a “scan and delivery” service for materials that are not. We are continuing to scan articles from those journals not available online and delivering them to the requester’s desktop. If a physical volume is needed, users can request it for prompt delivery back to a campus library. Library users who wish to visit the Trade Street Storage Annex can do so by appointment by contacting Ruby Loredo at rloredo@ucsd.edu or 858.653.6641.

We have been monitoring requests to determine demand and use patterns, and will continue to do so. With the completion of the consolidated shelving project, frequently used materials are being returned to campus library facilities. We have also committed resources to increasing our digital access to retrospective journal holdings, so we expect to continue to see improved online access to journal backfiles.

Q.  Where are the Scripps Library materials currently housed?

A.  In July of 2012, the Library began a year-long effort to consolidate the Scripps Library print collections into the Geisel Library. Approximately 150,000 volumes from the Scripps general collection has been moved to Geisel Library. Scripps materials can now be accessed at Geisel Library. The Scripps Archives and Library Annex, located on the 3rd floor of the Eckart building on the Scripps campus, continues to provide access to special collections and archives by appointment, Monday thru Friday from 9 to 5 p.m. In addition, to meet the needs of Scripps’ faculty and students, materials from Geisel can continue to be paged for delivery to Scripps.

Q. Where are the materials from the Science & Engineering Library?

A.  In response to feedback from our faculty users, these materials—including engineering and mathematical sciences, and chemistry and physical sciences items— continue to be housed in the Geisel Library building, where they will remain in close proximity to the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Division of Physical Sciences.

Q.   How can I provide feedback on collection consolidations?

A .  We continue to solicit and encourage feedback from the campus community in order to ensure that the decisions we make about the arrangement of the collections meet the needs of our users. Please send us your feedback at:  http://libraries.ucsd.edu/collections/consolidation/consolidation-qa-feedback.html

You may also contact your library liaison at: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/contacts/subject-specialists.html

Library Budget Cuts

Q.  How has the Library been impacted by budget cuts?

A.   The repeated budget cuts we received between 2008/09 and 2011/12 required us to close three library facilities: the Medical Center Library (April 2011); the Center for Library & Instructional Computing Services (CLICS) (June 2011); and the International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS) Library (July 2011). These closures resulted in our smaller campus footprint, which has required us to consolidate our collections. In addition to these closures, we have: reduced total library hours; consolidated service points; slowed down digitization efforts; reduced instruction and classroom support; decreased spending for information and scholarly resources; implemented cuts in supplies and equipment; reduced binding support; and dramatically cut budgets for facilities maintenance and renovation. In addition, we were forced to eliminate the campus paging system, Roger Request, and have eliminated approximately 65 positions (22% of our workforce).

Q.  How have budget cuts impacted Library collections?

A.   The Library was forced to reduce our State-funded collections budget by almost $2 million (or more than 20%). These cuts required us to implement a wide range of cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of print journal subscriptions duplicated at other UC campuses and an overall decrease in the purchasing of new books and journals. With the more recent flat budget, we have managed to offset cuts to the state budget with endowment funding.

Q.  How have Library users been impacted by cuts in service and closures? Will I get the help I need to complete my research or find a resource?

A.  Cuts in library funding have unavoidably led to some reductions in staffing and services. While faculty, students, and other patrons should find the same quality of service, they also may experience longer waiting periods and lines as a result of library consolidations and staffing reductions. A top priority for the Library has been to protect our electronic resources budget to ensure that our users have access to the same high level of online information resources. Library staff remain committed to doing all they can to provide users with the assistance they need.

Transitions & Consolidations FAQ