March 21, 2017
Sitting at your favorite spot in the library, whether it’s looking out the window of the second floor apse or at a table with your group, you may not have thought about the amount of money it takes for UCCS to have the library materials and resources it does today.
The Kraemar Family Library’s expenditures exceeded $3.5 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, with spending going to materials, operations fees and salaries of employees.
The library also circulated 86,035 materials during the 2015-16 fiscal year. This includes materials like books, headphones and bike locks for students.
The library’s materials budget is used to purchase new books, computer software, databases and other materials that circulate to students throughout the academic year.
As far as how materials are selected, each librarian covers their own subject in the library and selects materials to purchase in that area. Students, faculty and other members of the UCCS community often give input on what books the library acquires.
“It’s up to the librarian to keep up with what’s out there from other publishers and review sources as well as trending things in the news and media,” said Martin Garnar, dean of the library.
Once the library decides to remove a book from the collection, it is offered to other libraries. This includes public libraries, community colleges and prison libraries. According to Garnar, lower-income libraries will typically accept books that the library circulates out.
The library will hold onto a book if it is the last print copy, as part of a “shared print trust,” to make sure the book does not disappear from the state, Garnar said.
“We want to make sure that we don’t lose it as part of the cultural heritage of the state,” said Garnar.
“Usually, when we are looking to withdraw a book from the collection, it is because (it) may be damaged or falling apart, has old information or it never gets checked out,” said Garnar. “We have limited space, and we can’t keep every single thing that we buy.”
If other libraries do not accept the books, they are sent to a company called Better World Books.
The third option is to recycle the unwanted books.
“Not every recycling company will take books. More often than not, they will just landfill them, and we do not want that to happen.”
The Kraemer Family Library also accepts gifts and donations from retiring professors and other community members.
“Unfortunately, people tend to give books that are falling apart and wouldn’t stand up to multiple uses,” said Garnar.
Many students fail to realize all that libraries provide, according to Garnar. A lot of the online content that students access for research come from the library; students pay for the access.
“You can sit in your dorm room and look up the article and think, ‘I don’t need to go to the library,’ but you just did. You just visited the library; we just are no longer bound by these walls,” said Garnar.