Magazine article American Libraries

MIT Library Plan Raises Concerns

Magazine article American Libraries

MIT Library Plan Raises Concerns

Article excerpt

Faculty members in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's humanities school in Cambridge are objecting to a recommendation made last summer by a Boston architectural firm on how to consolidate and better organize the MIT libraries. Among other options, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott had proposed consolidating the science and engineering collections in the Hayden Memorial Library and moving the humanities and social science material out of Hayden to the Barker Engineering Library building a short walk away.

Some professors felt left out of the loop and complained in the December 26 Boston Globe. "This feels like the engineers wanted a little more space, so they're moving in," was how one anonymous teacher put it.

However, Library Director Ann Wolpert told American Libraries that hiring SBRA was just the first step in rethinking library service at MIT and that final decisions are several years away. "Another option we are considering is to build two new facilities," she said, "one for science and engineering, and another for humanities. We need to do more to understand the feasibility of all of these plans, and we will be having in-depth conversations with all the faculty at every step.

The main reading room of the Barker Library sits underneath the university's Great Dome, constructed by Welles Bosworth in 1916 when the school moved to Cambridge from Boston. …

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