McCabe Library’s Nip/Tuck

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

As returning students get used to being back on campus and bushy-tailed freshmen begin their Swarthmore careers, they will have the benefit of an improved McCabe Library. McCabe, the home away from home for so many of Swarthmore’s more productive students, received a facelift over the summer to maximize efficiency. For Swarthmore students, who don?t have a moment to spare, this is certainly welcome news.

“Although the changes may take a little while to get used to for those who were familiar with the old system, it will make using the library much less confusing for the future generations of Swarthmore students,” says Ann Cary, the Reference and Instruction intern at McCabe. The most noticeable change is that the floors have been renamed. Previously, one would enter McCabe on level II. This year, the main floor has been renamed Level 1, with Levels 2 and 3 above it and the lower level below. The renaming was done “to be more in line with College convention,” explains Cary.

The library installed a new shelving system over the summer. The state-of-the-art shelving system, the same used by the Library of Congress, is more compact and efficient than the previous system. The unlocked sections of this shelving are currently being used for government documents. The locked sections are for materials previously found in the closed stacks section.

On the lower level, the entire call number sequence has been modified. The sequence now runs in logical order through the stacks. The ‘A’ call numbers begin where the government documents were previously kept, and the sequence runs in order from there. This should make materials on the lower level much easier to find. The BF (Psychology) call numbers, currently housed on Level 3, will be integrated into the sequence.

Students seeking current journals also will have to adjust a bit. Current periodical issues, previously housed at one end of the periodicals section, have been integrated into the main section with bound previous issues so all issues of a particular title can be found together. Current popular magazines remain on the main level. Some hard copy periodicals archived on the JSTOR database have been withdrawn.

These differences, while some so subtle that most students asked haven’t even noticed them yet, nevertheless make McCabe Library more efficient and easy to use. While the changes made are not revolutionary, they make the library easier for everybody to utilize to its full potential.

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