The CILIP TV October meeting saw the good folks of Reading University Library come and talk to us about their recent summer move and rationalisation of the collections formerly at the Bulmersh Library (because it has closed down), and the stock in the main library (because they had to make space for it!). They also had a little breathing space in the form of a newly fitted off-site storage facility which will be used to house some bespoke collections and lower use items. They created a project team who liased with academic staff, generally smoothing the way, and worked hard to make the right decisions about the rationalisation of the stock.
What was particuarly inspiring about this talk (apart from the massive reduction they managed to make in their physical stock without detrimental effect on their usefulness) was that although they were faced with a library closure, it was treated as a positive event, with the university library services now ‘all on one site’, as the very heart and hub of Reading University. Other positives came in the form of:
· More empty shelves and study spaces
· Better condition stock, with better relevance to the users
· Better catalogue records due to amendment of bad/incorrect ones
· More complete knowledge about subject collections.
It still sounded like hard work though, so well done to all involved.