May 26, 2022

Library Funding and Storage Space Concerns at Case Western Reserve University

This post includes two recent stories from the Case Western Reserve University student newspaper.

1. From The Observer:

With the university in the middle of its strategic planning process, Case Western Reserve University is examining areas in which improvement and additional support is needed. One item that fits this description is hidden in plain sight; the university’s library system is one of the most underfunded research library systems in the country.


This problem especially came to light in 2011. That year, according to [associate provost & university librarian Arnold] Hirshon, the university had to do some “fairly major cancellation” of journals and other databases. $550,000 worth of serials were not renewed.

This trend is beginning to concern those connected to the library. At last week’s Faculty Senate meeting, the Faculty Committee on the University Libraries presented a proposal for the “inclusion of a specific goal regarding the university’s libraries” in CWRU’s 2014-2018 strategic plan. The committee emphasized the need to increase financial investment in CWRU libraries so that by 2018, the university’s ARL Investment Index Score will move up to number 65, the median of all ARL research libraries, and that by 2023, CWRU will rank 45, the median of all private research institutions.

The article continues with sections on:

  • The potential consequences of an underfunded library
  • The history and cause of CWRU’s underfunded libraries
  • CWRU’s relationship with OhioLink

Read the Complete Article

2. Limited space could hamper future collection expansion (via The Observer)

While collection storage is currently not a major issue for the university’s library network, there is concern that it may soon be; Case Western Reserve University libraries are almost at full capacity.

According to Associate Professor of History and Law Dr. Kenneth Ledford, who is sitting on the CWRU 2026 strategic planning work group and has been involved in library workings for much of his 21 years at CWRU, part of this situation stems from the design of Kelvin Smith Library, the main library on campus.

Hat Tip and Thanks! @mattrweaver

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.