New Wall St. Journal Article Includes Discussion About The Harvard Library
As it looks to economize, Harvard has turned some of its attention toward the more than $160 million it spends each year on its nearly 375 year-old library system, which holds 17 million volumes, and includes 73 separate libraries. Widener, the flagship library, alone has 57 miles of shelving.
While the system has been a “precious asset to the university for many, many years,” Harvard has “also spent more on libraries than we’ve really needed to to accomplish our goal,” said Mr. Garber, the provost.
The number of full-time library workers is down 20% from the end of 2008, when there were more than 1,000 positions, as Harvard centralizes functions such as preservation instead of handling them separately at each library. After the plan was announced in February, library supporters picketed, holding sign with messages such as “$32 billion in the bank? No layoffs.”
Harvard is also changing its philosophy on owning books. The goal: Provide access to them rather than collecting each one, which can lead to costs for storage and preservation, a 2009 Harvard task-force report said. The library will extend partnerships to borrow from other libraries, and further digitize its own collection so it can share with others.
Read the Complete Article
See Also: Recently Published Drafts of New Harvard Library Procedures (Collections, Resource Sharing, and Several Other Areas)
See Also: “No Mass Layoffs at Harvard Libraries” (via LJ; July 3, 2012)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.