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Microforms Task Force

When Library West closed for renovation, the entire microforms collection was moved to the Auxiliary Library Facility. Shortly thereafter, seven cabinets containing Florida newspapers were brought back to Marston Science Library. These cabinets held the small town newspapers formerly housed in Special Collections that are particularly difficult to access. In the six months that the microforms have been located off-campus, staff have noted that microforms generally experience low use except for newspapers. In a few cases, users have requested many, many reels of specific large city newspapers. Requesting and returning microforms to campus is complicated by the fact that most of them lack item numbers that are required to track them in Aleph. More than half the microform collection is cataloged in Dewey, so this raises a question about whether all material returned to campus must be reclassed into LC. In the new building, very prime “real estate” on the 3rd floor behind the reference desk has been designated to house the entire Library West microform collection, and special shelves are being acquired to hold it. Is so much space needed – particularly because many materials now in microform are now or soon will be available in electronic form? In one recent staff discussion, it was recommended that only newspapers, Census documents, and perhaps SEC reports be returned from ALF.

The task force members, comprising the key microforms stakeholders, are being asked to review the issues and make recommendations. In the course of your deliberations, please attend to the following:

1. Develop a policy for the location of microforms and, specifically, for microforms that are appropriate for ALF, the off-campus storage facility.

2. Develop policy and procedure statements covering the transfer of microforms from one location to another.

3. Determine which microforms are available electronically and, therefore, should be housed in storage rather than on campus.

4. Project the amount of space required for microforms in ALF, Library West, and other campus locations (Documents, LAC, etc.) that house major microform collections for the period 2005-2015.

5. Recommend how the Library West collection should be physically arranged.. Recommend how it should it be staffed and serviced.

6. Define any additional issues that should be addressed to improve our microforms services.

Findings to be reported by September 3, 2004.


  • Shelley Arlen
  • Gary Cornwell
  • Jim Cusick
  • Carol Drum (convener)
  • Erich Kesse
  • Jan Swanbeck
  • Ben Walker
  • Priscilla Williams


Report: September 02, 2004
Appendix I
Appendix II (Report of the Storage Management Task Force)


2005 | 2004 |



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