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Bound periodicals: Q&A

In 2011, Reed Library performed an extensive weeding of the Reference Collection. Items were weeded on the basis of duplication in electronic form, currency, and condition. Based on a careful collection sample this project was estimated to reduce the physical size of the Reference Collection by more than fifty percent. By serendipity, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (formerly SUNYIT) was disposing of a large quantity of low shelving at that time. The reshelving of the reference collection on the low shelving was the second physical change moving Reed Library toward a twenty-first century library while at the same time providing a glimpse of the original interior visioning by architect I.M. Pei.

In 2014, the Bound and Current Periodical Collections were weeded to remove materials available full-text online. This weeding removed shelving from two thousand square feet of floor space, creating sightlines across the library for the first time since its opening in 1968.

In 2017, the Bound Periodical Collection was weeded again with the goal of improving access for stakeholders by filling gaps in the Empire Shared Collection with our periodical holdings, while simultaneously creating a portion of the footprint for the Commons at Reed.

Frequently asked questions:

Why weren’t the periodicals donated to another library? Several titles were donated to the Empire Shared Collection to build complete runs of periodicals for access by the entire SUNY community for lesser used materials.

Why weren’t the periodicals donated to libraries in other countries? Electronic access to scholarly communities in many countries is provided at greatly reduced costs by the majority of content providers. In addition, the cost of shipping periodicals internationally is prohibitive.

Why weren’t the periodicals recycled? Recyclers have found hardbound materials like bound periodicals are not economically feasible for recycling unless the bindings are removed. Binding removal is a labor intensive process that increases costs.

What happens to the shelving? The shelving is the property of New York State, so it must be disposed of according to state guidelines. The shelving is advertised through state sources as being available to state units. If none of the branches of state government claim the property, it is auctioned on eBay.

What is happening to the space created by the removal of the shelving? The five thousand square feet of space is being banked for the creation of a Commons in Reed Library as part of the larger Student Success Center campus initiative. Until such time as the Commons becomes a reality, the space will be used for study, exhibits, events, and other campus priorities.