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Engineering, Math and Physical Science Libraries at Cornell University

Clark Physical Sciences Library – October Update

Dear CUL,

I hope the semester is starting up well for all of you. It’s been a busy summer at the Clark Physical Sciences Library as we consolidate the physical collections and transition into a virtual library service, and I wanted to update you on our progress.

This process is being guided by a set of recommendations developed by a team of faculty, students and staff in the physical sciences last spring. The transition will continue through the fall semester and the library will remain open through December 18, 2009. Attached is an FAQ that addresses the future of the library collections and services.
Please feel free to pass the FAQ or this e-mail along to users who have questions about the Physical Sciences Library.

Our bound journal collection has been transferred to the Annex Library.
A recent bequest from Erna L. Gramse, a generous alumna who earned her master’s degree in chemistry from Cornell in 1933, has allowed us to purchase online access to back issues of almost 400 additional journal titles in the physical and related sciences. New print journal issues will be available in the Physical Sciences Library Reading Room through December, after which time most subscriptions will go e-only.

Books that have circulated since 2000 will be transferred to related collections in the Engineering, Mann and Mathematics libraries. These transfers will begin in late October and continue through early December. Books that have not circulated since 2000 were transferred to the Annex this month. Books on Reserve will remain in the Physical Sciences Library through the final exam period. Moving forward, we are exploring various ebook options such as the MyiLibrary patron-driven eBook plan, recently laid out in an e-mail to CU-Lib from Boaz Nadav-Manes. Books remain a key piece of the literature in the physical sciences, especially for students, and we are hoping to expand the opportunities for access through ebooks.

Reference Collection:
The Physical Sciences Library’s reference collection is one of the largest science reference collections in the Cornell system and is used by researchers across the disciplines. In addition to increased online journal holdings, we will be able to expand access through increased online reference resources with the Gramse and Clark Library endowments.
Remaining print reference materials will be transferred to the Engineering, Mann and Mathematics libraries.

Study space:
Maintaining quiet study space is a high priority for students in the physical sciences. This concern was reinforced at a recent meeting about future use of the library space with Vice Provost for Research Bob Buhrman, physical sciences department chairs and building representatives. The transition team submitted a proposal for supporting quiet study in this area.

Online presence:
The library Web site has migrated to a new platform and is now located at . For now, this site is very similar to the previous one, and it will be in place through December 2009. Behind the scenes, we are developing an enhanced site based on the transition team’s recommendations and plan to launch it in January as the primary access point for library resources in the physical sciences. Our transition to a virtual library is closely linked to the new Web site, which will help people find electronic resources, relocated collections, and library services.

Finally, I’d like to collectively thank everyone across CUL who’s been involved in this extraordinary effort so far, and especially the PSL staff for their dedication to excellent service amid constant change.
All of this is in addition to the hundreds of students and faculty members who gave feedback and input last spring in forums, e-mail, petitions, departmental visits, and one-on-one conversations with library staff. This is uncharted territory for our library system, but I believe that all of the input from users, the transition team and library colleagues will make it successful and that we’re doing the best thing for our library. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


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