As Paley Library continues to grow, library officials are turning to both old-fashioned and modern storage solutions.
“We’re out of space everywhere and that’s a major problem for us,” University librarian Maureen Pastine said.
The library has been given 60,000 square feet of storage space at the Kardon Building.
This was part of last year’s deal between the University and Philadelphia Management, Inc. for the renovation of the building into student apartments.
Pastine says that library officials plan to move 300,000 older journals and other infrequently used books into storage at Kardon.
The storage area, scheduled to be completed by August 2003, will give library staff the room it needs to house new acquisitions, she said.
“We don’t want to put staff into the building,” she said.
“We plan to offer a 24-hour turnaround time for our staff to retrieve any items put into storage in that building.”
The storage space is needed to make room for new materials.
“We don’t purchase nearly as many books as we’d like to,” Pastine said.
The university currently has 2,603,521 volumes. According to a library report for the 2000-2001 school year, the university added 55,627 books, 23,000 audio/video and over 350,000 other items.
“Today most scholarly work is kept in print,” she said.
“But we feel we have a good balance of both electronic and print sources. We continue to purchase books and magazines and even have electronic books on hand through NetLibrary.”
The library is using electronic technology to store older materials.
Susan Dreher is the project manager of the Digital Diamond project, an effort to preserve the university’s rare collections and put them online for public use.
“More and more people expect that they can find things online,” Dreher said.
“It’s all about access. We’re working with really unique items that would otherwise be in storage. If they’re in storage then nobody can look at them, so it’s all about making these materials available to researchers.”
In early 2000 Temple officials lobbied the federal government for congressional grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
They were awarded two grants to start the digital project, totalling $747,000.
The library has dedicated 10 to 15 employees for the project, according to Pastine.
“There are currently three fulltime positions that are being paid for by the grant money,” Pastine said.
“I’ve got to find the money to make them permanent employees when the grants run out next year.”
Workers in the Digital Diamond office use a variety of computer scanners for the online preservation work.
As of Nov. 12, Dreher said there were 22,667 images available through Digital Diamond.
“So far 56,892 have been scanned,” Dreher said.
“But the images can not be posted on Digital Diamond until they are cataloged.”
In addition to creating room for more books, the library wants to improve Paley for student use.
By the start of the spring semester, Pastine says that new exhibit space will be put in the place of the circulation desk.
Her hope is that the added exhibition space can accommodate guest lecturers and book signers as well as offer the opportunity for students and faculty to display their work.
Pastine says that despite the recent interior painting and lighting work that more renovations are needed at Paley.
“The building opened in 1964, and we are still using the original furniture,” she said.
“Libraries prepare you for life long learning. Most students will change jobs six or seven times, so having a healthy library experience will help them change their careers much easier.”
Library officials recently conducted a survey of 2100 university library users to see how the library was meeting their needs.
Pastine says that quicker document delivery, noise reduction, improved service at the front desk, increased availability of university computers and requests for new furniture were the top items cited in the survey.
Chris Powell can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org