The biggest takeaway from this project was that deselection of materials had a largely positive impact on the age of the collection, greater than just adding brand new materials could. It’s like trying to mix a grey paint; you’re going to need to dump a whole lot of white onto your black paint to get it to lighten up. It’s so much more effective if you take all the old, unused stuff away first. Committing to keeping up with how we are progressing towards our goals is the only way I would have found out that the time invested by liaison librarians into collection development has been paying off – and more importantly, just how much of an impact their actions made. I think it is so much more valuable to see that quantitative comparison in the data than to simply say “good job.”
Even for those who read only sporadically, there is a certain fascination with spaces that hold books, be they some of the world%u2019s most beautiful libraries or the world%u2019s most stunning bookstores. Booklovers are forever searching out books wherever they go, which can sometimes lead to discovering some extraordinary spots that allow you to bend sideways and read what%u2019s on offer. Here are some of the world%u2019s most unusual libraries, ranging from libraries resembling the Escher Stairs to one hidden inside a tree.
Last year I started a chart tracking colleagues who had left my institution. When I left for the winter break finally, the number stood at 37 and I’m sure I missed a few. These are spread across the university, though nearly half are from the Library. It includes people I worked with regularly enough that their leaving had a significant impact on me, with a sprinkling of high level administrators whose transitions always end up with creating waves of change likely to reach me at some point. I started tracking because I knew that the volume was going to be high and that I would need to be able to see at year’s end — at scale — how significant the disruptions had been.