Meeting of the Board of Regents | February 2009
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Cultural Education Trusteeship Committee
Library Space Issues
January 23, 2009
Goals 4 and 5
Issue for Discussion
Space needs in the Library including remote storage in the State Education Building stacks which will be overrun by projected space needs in five to ten years requiring additional storage.
Reason(s) for Consideration
The Cultural Education Trusteeship Committee will discuss ways to meet Library space needs.
Established in 1818, the New York State Library was located in the State Education Building from 1913 to 1978. Overcrowding in the State Education Building became a serious library issue by the mid 1940s. The State Library moved to the Cultural Education Center in 1978.
The move to the Cultural Education Center was designed in part to escape overcrowding. Still the Library was forced to leave behind a number of heavily used materials such as our historic collections of newspapers and court records and briefs. Our collection annex in the State Education Building (also known as the “warehouse”) continues to serve as the distribution hub for the State Document Depository Program, which was established in 1955.
In the thirty years since the move to the Cultural Education Center, the collection annex has suffered from understaffing making it impossible to properly maintain and service our collections. The annex also contains countless gifts and uncataloged materials that the Library is simply not equipped to process without additional library staff in both buildings.
In addition to the lack of environmental and security controls, the collection is also threatened by the Education Department’s continual need for storage space often co-opting portions of our stack areas for everything from office files and supplies to surplus furniture.
Here are a few examples of the State Library collections still located in the State Education Building:
New York State government documents
Court records and briefs
Special collections such as D&H Railroad materials
Rare book catalogs
Untied State federal government documents
German patent collection
New York State Museum publications