Virginia Tech®home

FAQs | Newman Library Reorganization Project

What’s happening on the 4th floor of Newman Library?

As part of the university’s Beyond Boundaries initiative and in support of the Destination Areas, the University Libraries have been incorporated into the proposed Innovation Corridor. Space on the 4th floor of Newman Library has been allocated for that purpose and in the coming year, will be transformed into a space to support the collaboration of faculty, students, and community partners.

What will that transformation look like?

For now, we are essentially reorganizing our books, shelves, and study spaces. Some of our books and materials are moving to new locations within Newman Library, and some will go to our off-site Library Service Center where you can continue to access them. Eventually, the 4th floor will be renovated, so we’ll be sure to share layout and design visuals when we have them.

Why is it happening in the library?

Libraries have always been in a state of evolution. They were created to be information hubs, where people could consume and create knowledge. Now, as innovation changes the way people interact with information, libraries must rise to the challenge of growing and adapting as well. 

A major trend in academic research libraries around the globe is creatively rethinking the way library spaces are used to equip and support research, teaching, and learning. Reimagining and renewing the 4th floor of Newman Library will create opportunities for the Virginia Tech community to engage with information, collaborate with colleagues and explore new frontiers. 

Virginia Tech is an exceptional place of scholarship and research, striving to innovate and evolve in order to advance excellence and expand access to knowledge. As part of that vision, the University Libraries must always be seeking to provide exceptional new resources and services to support that mission.

So, what about the books?

As we repurpose space on our 4th floor and relocate books to the 3rd and 5th floors, we’ll be reorganizing some of our collections. Not all books will be moved, and most that are moved will find new homes on our shelves within Newman Library. Some books that are less frequently used will be taken to the Library Service Center, where they can be retrieved for you upon request.

In the past decade, we’ve seen an exciting increase in the number of visitors to our library buildings as well as substantial growth in use of the technology and electronic resources we provide. At the same time, we’ve seen a decline in the number of physical books being checked out or used at the library. By investing in expanding our digital collections and rethinking the way we use our library space, we are ultimately able to give you access to more resources and tools than ever before. 

That being said, all disciplines will continue to have a physical presence in Newman Library. The preservation of, and access to, knowledge in both physical and digital formats remains a priority for the University Libraries.

What if I need a book or other item that has been moved?

There are a number of ways you can access the books that have been moved. Many of the books you once found on the 4th floor, you can now find on the 3rd and 5th floors. If you can’t find a book’s new home, click ‘Ask a Librarian’ on our home page or visit the Reference desk on the 2nd floor for help. 

Any of the books that have been moved off-site can be retrieved for you, as well. Initially, we’ll be using  Interlibrary Loan to fill your requests, but as the project progresses, we’ll return to using Request It and our Bookrunner service, which delivers books directly to faculty members’ departments. If you need a book, all you have to do is submit a request and we’ll let you know an estimated time of arrival.

What does this mean for the resources I use in my teaching and research?

We’re committed to providing what you need, and if we don’t already have it, we’ll do our best to get it for you. 

Every year, we invest in growing and improving our collection. We spend time evaluating what we have and what we need, and then fill gaps with new resources. In 2016 alone, we added more than 100 new electronic resources, which collectively give you access to millions more pages of content you can use in your research, teaching and scholarship. 

Reorganizing the physical collections inside the building means that the books you use are easier to find. Our digital collections are searchable online, and our physical collections are getting simpler to navigate.

Who do I talk to if I have a question, concern or feedback about this?

If you have a question about the changes on the 4th floor of Newman Library, please feel free to leave a us comment, reach out to your liaison librariancontact the group managing this project, or chat with a librarian using the Ask a Librarian tool on our homepage. We’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

What is the timeline?

The plan is to begin opening the new 4th floor spaces in time for the Fall 2017 semester, with additional spaces planned for the future. The work will be split into two phases. 

Phase 1 began this summer (2016) and consists of the reorganizing work mentioned earlier. Books, shelves and study spaces are being relocated in preparation for repurposing the 4th floor space.

Phase 2, the renovation of the 4th floor, is projected to begin Spring 2017.