May 22, 2022

University of Virginia: “Libraries Dean Unsworth Responds to Protests Surrounding Alderman Shelving”

From The Daily Cavalier:

Two predominant voices in the debate over the future of Alderman Library are disagreeing on the number of books that will remain in its stacks after the renovation designs received approval by the Board of Visitors earlier this month.

John Unsworth, the University’s Dean of Libraries and an English professor, sent a memo on Sept. 10 to the Board of Visitors outlining his reasoning surrounding the continuation of the Alderman renovations. The memo specifically responded to the concerns of those who signed a petition against the loss of shelving space in the spring.

The renovations, continuing despite protest from some students and faculty, plan to decrease the amount of shelving space for print books in the library. Initially, the plans announced a reduction to be within 30 to 60 percent.


The plans must be approved by the Virginia General Assembly in order for the original renovation timeline to proceed as scheduled. If maintained, construction will be scheduled to begin in 2020, according to the University website. The $160 million renovation plans were approved by the Board in June and refined by the Board earlier this month.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1000 words)


See Also: University of Virginia: Schematic Design For Alderman Library Approved by UVA Board of Visitors

See Also: HBRA Architects and University Librarian Present Concept Plans for Alderman Library Renovation to BOV (June 2018)

See Also: Schematic Design: Alderman Library Renewal (14 Slides; PDF)

See Also: University of Virginia: Alderman Library Renovation Plans to Proceed Forward (June 8, 2018)

See Also: Direct to Dean Unsworth’s Full Memo to the BOV in Regards to the Collections (6/2/2018)

See Also:  $160 Million Alderman Library Renovation Plans Come Into Focus (February 8, 2018)


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.