Book Move / Clemons First Floor Remodeled

Through January, we’re publishing year-in-review highlights from FY2020. Download a full PDF of this year’s Annual Report to read more!

Books Have Moved, but All Remain Available During Renovation

Before construction could begin on renovations to the University’s main library in spring of 2020, 1.7 million books, maps, microforms, and other media needed to be moved out, but kept available to students and faculty. In fall of 2019, nearly 500,000 of the library’s high demand titles were moved to the 1st floor of Clemons Library where they will remain for the duration of the project, available by request through Virgo, the Library
catalog. Under normal library operations, those books will be accessible for browsing on high density mobile shelving, installed to preserve as much study space as possible, in Clemons. The library’s less popular titles — as well as all maps and microforms — were moved to the Ivy Stacks remote shelving and retrieval facility where they are also available by request.

Ivy Stacks has never been just a storage facility; it’s a library with a mission to preserve cultural memory not just in books but in maps, LPs, rolls of microfilm, computer disks, music CDs, video laserdiscs, and a myriad of other items — such as issues of Charlottesville’s Daily Progress newspaper from 1895 to the present, and the original glass negatives of photos made by Charlottesville photographer Rufus W. Holsinger from the late 1880s to 1930. And Ivy now has a new feature: a bright, inviting reading room equipped with flatbed scanner, microform scanner, and a turntable that plays anything from vinyl LPs to old 78 rpm discs, providing unprecedented access to a vast collection.

Ivy Stacks (right), with double the capacity of 2017, is now equipped with a solar array to help power the facility and maintain it at a preservation standard temperature. In addition, most of the material that moved to Ivy Stacks will move back to much improved conditions in the fully renovated main library, and Clemons has been made over with new lighting, furniture, charging stations, a renovated HVAC system, and new bathroom facilities. Whether in Ivy Stacks, Clemons, or the main library, users will have full access to all materials, housed in conditions that benefit not only the books but the people using them.

Worker inside a van, pushing a dolly stacked trays filled with books being moved out of the main library.

Photo by Sanjay Suchak.

Ivy Stacks worker on a lift (called an order-picker) handling books high up between rows of shelves in the Ivy Stacks storage and retrieval facility.

The Ivy Stacks storage and retrieval facility. Photo by Sanjay Suchak.

Clemons First Floor Remodeled to Expand Browsing & Study Space

To prepare for renovation of the University’s main library location, the first floor of Clemons was remodeled in 2019 with high-density compact shelving to keep high-use volumes on Central Grounds — close to staff, faculty, and students. Half a million volumes will remain in Clemons for three years while the main library, opened in 1938, is brought up to code and reconfigured to make it a more inviting and pleasant place to browse and study. Materials not moved to Clemons are being stored in the Ivy Stacks
facility, and remain available for checkout through Virgo. Anticipating the need for study space, Clemons retains seating for 370 people, and the first floor is decked out with new furniture, charging stations, improved lighting, and upgraded bathroom facilities.

View down an aisle between Clemons Library's mobile shelving, installed to hold browsing collection of books from the main library during renovation.

Mobile compact shelving on 1st floor of Clemons Library. Photo by Sanjay Suchak.

View of the new tables, chairs, carpet, and light fixtures in Clemons 1st floor study space beside the mobile shelving units.

Study space on Clemons’ 1st floor. Photo by Amber Reichert.

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