The new Natural Resources Library, which opened in June, celebrated Oct. 10 with a grand opening event. The new librarysaves $130,000 annually in operating costs through consolidating collections in the former Forestry and Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife libraries.
The project also responded to changes in how scholars use library resources by tapping digital technologies to enhance the on-site collection and through the popular Get It delivery system. The Natural Resources Library, located in Hodson Hall on the St. Paul campus, also better supports interdisciplinary efforts and meets the demand for more study space on campus through the re-use of the former Forestry Library.
New library a hit with students
“It’s got a lot of windows — it’s just a really nice place to study,” said Joe Kaser, a graduate student in the entomology program. “And because of the delivery system, I can always find what I’m looking for.”
“It fits in well with my program,” said Gretchen Wilbrandt, a Ph.D. student in the entomology program. “It has all of the necessary resources, as well as inter-library loan to get everything I need.”
“The staff are really helpful,” said Hannah Specht, a graduate student in the fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology program. Specht said she often checks out master’s and Ph.D. theses related to her area of study. “I’m in this library a few times a week. I really enjoy having big windows to work next to.”
Budget cuts and changes in library use prompted consolidation
Philip Herold, the research and learning director for agricultural, biological, and environmental sciences at the University of Minnesota, said that the new library represents a consolidation of the Forestry Library and the Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife Library.
“One of the main drivers was budgetary,” Herold said. “We looked at different areas where we could make reductions. [And] the nature of the use of the library was changing over time. Fewer people were coming in to use the collections. And many of the collections were being made available electronically.”
The new Natural Resources Library houses high-use materials from the Forestry and Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife collections. Low-use print materials (many of which are available electronically) were transferred to the Magrath Library or other Libraries’ facilities. Students and faculty will continue to have access to the same breadth and depth of content as before, either by visiting Magrath Library or using the Get It delivery service.
Herold said that he believes the new library is generating increased use.
“I guess the general word on the street is that it’s a nice place to come and to work and to study.”
About Operational Excellence
Colleges, departments, and units around the University are working to reduce costs while enhancing services as part of the U’s commitment to Operational Excellence.
Learn more and contribute your ideas at Excellence.umn.edu