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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Raynor Library book collection downsizing

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Raynor Memorial Library has been downsizing their collection in the past four years.

Reid Holben, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, has only checked out one book in his time at Marquette. However, he recently found himself in the Raynor Memorial Library shelves looking for a book regarding the Irish revolution for a research project. 

As of the 2016-’17 academic school year, Marquette University has checked out a total of 45,860 books. However, Raynor Memorial library has been downsizing for the last four years.

Holben doesn’t check out books often because finding the information online is convenient.

“The ease of googling versus trying to look up a book and then physically getting it yourself, I think it’s just easier to look online,” Holben said. 

Circulation assistant Jenna Grieshop, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said that books are checked out more by graduate students and faculty.

“When graduate students come up, they have about five to 10 books.”

Grieshop said she will pull down books that haven’t been checked out in the last 10 years as part of her daily tasks.

“We do weed our collection. The decision on which books to be withdrawn is made by the subject librarian for each discipline and is based on the individual subject and usage of the material,” Elisa Coghlan, coordinator of marketing and outreach at Raynor Memorial Library, said in an email.

Whether a student checks out a book or not depends what kinds of resources they need for research, Coghlan said.

Nonetheless, Grieshop said that she talks to at least 20 people a day at the circulation desk, giving advice on where to find books.

“We show them how to use the website, how you can search on there and then we have guides to tell them where the books are. If they really can’t find it, then we’ll go and help them and walk with them until they find it,” Grieshop said.

According to a report done by the American Library Association, 28 percent of Americans nationwide ranked academic research through borrowed material as one of their top reasons to visit a library, validating that libraries are important for free access to resources. That totals to more than 145.8 million Americans.

“We send (the outdated books) over to storage, so they’re not in the library but we still do have them,” Grieshop said. She said there is at least one cart full of books to put back every day.

“These are very well researched, especially in history, and you can find very specific things for whatever you are looking for.”

Grieshop said that students, faculty and visitors should know that the circulation desk is willing to help with anything book related. “The question you are going to ask is more common than you think,” Grieshop said. “We want you to ask. We’re happy to help you.”

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