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Government collection consolidated in new space

In February, the Government and Geographic Information Collection will move from Deering Library to a new home in University Library.

The move marks a major improvement for access to the collection, which includes materials produced by the U.S. government, the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago, and several international inter-governmental agencies. The new location, room B190 on the University Library’s lower level, allows consolidation for many of materials previously shelved across multiple locations including 3,000 linear feet of documents that required a librarian’s help to access, plus voluminous holdings of maps and atlases.

“Research in history, political science, geology, or any number of fields often requires information found in government documents,” said Anne Zald, who is head of the collection and associated services. “Having these materials available in the same space, alongside Internet-connected computers, makes access easier. It also gives everyone a fuller sense of the wide range of resources we have.”

Though NUsearch, the library’s online discovery system, is the primary gateway for most materials, there remains a significant portion of the collection that won’t be found with a quick keyword search. For these materials library staff play an essential role in locating specific items for users, Zald said. But the new space — which uses high-density compact shelving for efficient browsing and searching — will improve the experience for patrons and librarians alike.

The consolidation of government materials is made possible by the ongoing shifts of materials throughout University Libraries, a project dubbed “Books on the Move.” Other recent improvements made possible by these shifts include the consolidation of the Herskovits Library of African Studies to the fifth floor, the renovated Core (the second-floor collaborative space for students), and the completely rebuilt Mudd Library, which opened last September.