UC Berkeley Library released its long-term plan Thursday, moving toward a “layered” system that allocates library services on three different levels as well as merges the collections and staffs of select libraries.
The plan will be implemented in spring 2023 and is expected to be completed by fall 2025.
According to the long-term plan, campus libraries will be divided into three categories: hub libraries that offer the fullest set of services from collections and artifacts for research to spaces for studying, satellite libraries that have a smaller collection of services and shorter hours and “by appointment” libraries that do not offer walk-in services but can be accessed through requests online.
“While many people in the campus community expressed regret and disappointment that some campus libraries would close and some hours would be reduced, the Library does not have the resources to sustain all locations as they have been,” the long-term plan reads.
Subsequently, three libraries will be merged with hub libraries between January 2024 and August 2025: the Anthropology, Mathematics and Statistics and Physics-Astronomy Libraries.
The plan states that collections and staff will be moved to central spaces like Main (Gardner) Stacks and the Engineering Library.
In a campuswide statement released Thursday by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin E. Hermalin, once the three libraries have been vacated, the space will “return to central campus oversight.”
Specific reassignment plans have not been articulated, however; Hermalin added that priority for this formerly occupied space will be on providing study and collaboration spaces for students.
The plan also highlighted the reservations of various stakeholders regarding the changes, many of which focused on the Library’s “reduced budget” and calls for greater investment in the Library as “a fundamental need for student and faculty success.”
“Future recommendations in the Campus Master Plan and Long Range Development Plan should articulate a sustainable vision for our campus libraries (collections, staff, and users) and sufficient spaces for students to study and collaborate in various other places around campus that keep pace with the growth of enrollment,” the long-term plan reads.