Posted by: bluesyemre | October 19, 2012

Faculty Question Future of Libraries

  • Following the completion in August of a plan more than three years in the making to reorganize Harvard’s library system, some faculty say that the future of the library’s collection remains unclear—a concern borne out by staff changes in recent years. “From the perspective of collecting, there’s been a years long decline in support,” said Classics Professor Richard F. Thomas, who dates the slow-down in acquisitions to the early 1990s. Recent turnover in collections staff is especially troubling, Thomas added. “A decline in the number and expertise of our bibliographers directly impacts the excellence of our collecting,” he said. Since the process of streamlining and centralizing Harvard’s 73 libraries began in the spring of 2009, several positions in collections have become vacant, and other key posts remain unfilled. According to the Harvard College Library’s internal directories, Harvard currently has two active collectors responsible for English language acquisitions, down from three in academic year 2008-2009. Additionally, Harvard currently employs one bibliographic specialist for books in French, Italian, German, Dutch, and major Scandinavian languages—a job that has been filled by up to three separate collectors in the past.


  1. Any ILS could not replace one tiny “chip” any librarian have – our brains!


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