Where Have All the Reference Books Gone?

Over the last several months, Gleeson Library patrons have noticed a decreasing number of books on the shelves surrounding the Reference Desk. Those shelves are now almost completely empty! This is due to work on the large-scale Reference Integration Project, which is incorporating all physical reference materials into the main stacks.


The project began late last year and involves the collaborative efforts of three library departments: Reference, Cataloging, and Access Services. Reference staff pulled and tracked all materials from the collection. Cataloging staff is cleaning up and adjusting records to reflect the new stacks location. Access Services is interfiling the materials into the stacks and completing accommodative shifting as necessary.

Currently cataloging is finishing up the last several carts of books. Access Services will continue interfiling and shifting this summer. Upon completion, roughly 12,000 volumes will have been updated and integrated into the stacks. The vast majority will be interfiled into the core collection of the main stacks. Reference folio atlases will join the other cartographic resources in the maps area on the Lower Level.

Simply stated, this is a huge change! Especially for the librarians and patrons that are accustomed to the old location and who often refer to these materials. These reference books will be available to all, just in a new place in the stacks. You can still find these materials in the library catalog, Ignacio, by doing a keyword search for “gleeson reference collection.” All physical reference items were given that tag before the move began. As for the future of Reference, a stronger emphasis will be placed on electronic resources: reference e-books will continue to be added to the library’s collections in Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).

If you have any questions or need help finding something that used to be in the Reference Room, please contact us via Ask a Librarian.

Jocelyn, a Reference student assistant, loads up a cart of books to be integrated into the main stacks. Student assistants have been a huge help with this project. Thank you!

Thanks to everyone involved for what has been, and continues to be, a smooth project. The three departments have worked really well together and shown exemplary teamwork. Thanks again!

*Photo credit: Kelci Baughman McDowell


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