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Transforming a Library into a Bookless Branch and Increasing Discoverability of the Virtual Library

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Empowering the User Learning Experience: Evolution in Library Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1375.1 - 25.1375.12



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Paper Authors


Jill H. Powell Cornell University Orcid 16x16

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Jill Powell is Engineering Librarian at the Engineering Library, Cornell University. She worked in publishing before coming to the library in 1986. She has a B.A. from Cornell and a M.L.S. from Syracuse University. Active in the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education, she served as Program and Division Chair in 2004-2005. She is the library liaison to these departments: biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering.


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Transforming a Library into a Bookless Branch and Increasing Discoverability of the Virtual LibraryA traditional academic engineering library over 50 years old in its present location (125 years ifone counts previous buildings) is targeted for closure. But this library doesn't close; it becomes"bookless” in the physical sense. A committee to re-envision the library developsrecommendations to close the circulation desk and transfers the physical volumes to othercampus libraries, but gains significantly more funds for digital collections, a new website, andincreases the role of professional librarians on site. The library building never closes and istransformed into a 24/7 research and computing center.The events leading up to the move, the aggressive conversion to more electronic resources, theprocedures and complexities involved in moving, course reserves, and the unexpected areexamined. Communication plans and a new website featuring a Curated List of LibraryResources (CULLR) focused on engineering resources are presented. The architecture for thiswebsite is based on automated extraction of data based on curatorial input, and allows for customannotations and flexibility.

Powell, J. H. (2012, June), Transforming a Library into a Bookless Branch and Increasing Discoverability of the Virtual Library Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22132

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