Over the next few months, visitors to the library may notice some changes to our collections. We are undertaking some rearrangements in order for the library to work better for UAS students. While these changes are happening you may notice empty shelves in some areas, and other areas stacked full from top to bottom.
What are these changes and why are we making them?
The first and most exciting reason is we are creating a new Cyril George Alaska Native Knowledge Center on the main level of the library. Proposed by Assistant Professor Lance Twitchell and funded by a Rasmuson Grant and private donations, the Cyril George Alaska Native Knowledge Collection will bring together the library's materials about Alaska Native culture, technology, and art, as well topics such as language revitalization and indigenous peoples around the world.
The second reason is simply that the library’s main level is in need of an update. When the library was planned in 1990, reference, print indexes, periodicals, and microfilm were placed on the Main Level. This made sense at the time because these were areas that students consulted frequently and with which they often needed assistance. For a student in 1990, finding an article meant consulting a print index such as the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature to get a citation, and then navigating to the print volume or microfilm reel containing the article. And when a librarian in 1990 needed to locate a statistic, biographical info, or other quick fact for a patron, he or she usually needed to consult one of hundreds of reference books kept close to the Reference Desk.
Jump forward 25 years, and research has changed quite a bit. Students use the library's online databases to find articles; librarians answer most questions using the internet and online reference books. To be sure, not everything is online; our print journals and microfilm collections contain many resources that are not otherwise available. But students use these collections considerably less than they used to. For that reason, it doesn’t make sense to keep them in the bustling heart of the main floor of the library any more.
Our plans include relocating bound periodicals to the lower level, reducing our microfilm collection and putting more of it in storage, and moving many of the Reference books into the General collection. The Main Level will house the new Cyril George Center, more study space, and the library’s Art and Literature collections. We’ll be moving our large collection of oversized Art books, which are currently hidden away at the back of the Lower Level, up to be with our other Art books.
We believe these changes will give the library a needed facelift. This reorganization builds on changes we have already made to better serve student needs, including putting more computer stations in the library, improving the wireless coverage, adding more moveable tables and chairs, and installing monitors in some of the study rooms.
Please check our "Where is it?" section of this guide for all the latest details on library reorganization.