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Bookshelves will be placed along the high walls of the Second Surgical Clinic with room for about three hundred thousand books, magazines and other material from the Humanities collections. In the first design plans there was still room for around twelve kilometers of shelf space. In the recent design, that number has been reduced to 8.5 kilometers. So careful selection was required.

design study hall library

Wilma Goossen was project leader deselection and relocation of the Humanities collection and information specialist for History. A team of library staff worked hard to bring the Humanities collections back to the required volume. A well-considered selection procedure was used.

Goossen explains the procedure. “First of all, there was a lot of consultation between information specialists and the staff of the different courses. After all, you cannot do such a job without consulting the users. To make the right decisions, the publications were carefully examined. We took a very close look at the relevance of the material for education and research. In addition, the loan figures and the material were (digitally) checked, and finally whether a certain book or magazine was already available elsewhere within the UvA."

"On the basis of all this data, it is determined whether the material should be stored at the book depot of the library or whether it would remain available in the open set-up", Goossen explains. “When the material is moved to the book depot, we strive to make the publications quickly available again, so that it can be requested by the customer. Publications that do not meet the required criteria will be remediated. The latter category is offered to staff and students as much as possible."

According to Goossen, the most important guideline is that the collection in the open set-up matches with what is currently needed for research and education. “We are also going to set up a source room for antiquity and the Middle Ages in consultation with the users in the new university library. For that purpose, the current source rooms of PC Hoofthuis and the UB are merged."

In the meantime, the Humanities library staff have also completed the following major task: renumbering all remaining material to the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC). Goossen: “We previously had 34 different classification systems. These are system codes with which library material can be found in the catalogue and ultimately also on the shelf. When all those codes differ, it is very inconvenient for our customers. LCC is being used internationally by many scientific libraries, so it is already familiar to many of our employees. In addition, many e-books are also classified according to the LCC. So this is a logical next step in all respects. "


Author: Janna van Veen