To create more space for Science and Humanities Libraries' books and bound periodicals, compact shelving is being installed in the basement of the Hayden Library in Building 14. The library is remaining open throughout the construction.
Compact shelving, already in use in the Lewis Music Library and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Library, is movable shelving on tracks. The library gains additional book space by reducing the floor space needed for the aisles.
Work began in May immediately after final exams, when the Athena cluster in the basement was removed for the duration of the project. Temporary shelving for basement materials was set up in the Science Library on the first floor and in the Humanities Library on the second floor.
The project is now entering its final stages. The first sections of the compact shelving are in place, and volumes from the remaining sections have been moved into the new shelving. New and improved lights have been installed over the compact shelving.
The final compact shelving sections are scheduled to be in place and the Athena cluster will return to Hayden basement by the end of August. There will be additional seating for visitors to use the collections, do online catalog searching and for studying.
The alignment of the compact shelving with the standard shelving means that the basement collections must be rearranged. There will also be some shifting of materials between the first floor and the basement, and the volumes will be vacuumed. These activities will take place during September and will make it difficult to locate some volumes at certain times. However, the result will be a more coherent arrangement, improved access and a cleaner space.
"We regret that the disruption of the project will continue into the fall term, and we appreciate the patience and goodwill of library users," said Carol Fleishauer, associate director for collection services.
A whiteboard in the Hayden Library entrance lobby provides detailed information on the location of specific materials. Library patrons should not hesitate to ask staff in the Science Library and the Humanities Library and at the Hayden Circulation Desk for assistance in locating materials.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 29, 2001.