Relocation of the Library of Philosophy to the Library Reading Room

Studielandschap Faculteit Wijsbegeerte
Study landscape at the spot of the former Philosophy Library

In the spring of 2011, the Library of Philosophy was moved from the Faculty to the fourth floor of the University Library. The decision to relocate the library facility was taken jointly by the boards of the Faculty and the Library. The Faculty, which has grown considerably in recent years, was faced with a shortage of work space for staff and meeting rooms for students. Staffing the service desk was a problem for the Library. The relocation of the Library of Philosophy freed up space at the Faculty, providing better-equipped working space for students.

By coincidence, the Library of Philosophy had been updated at the end of 2011. This meant that the decision could be quickly taken to transfer the collection as it stood. The Library of Philosophy ’s shelving system and call numbers were retained, with minor modifications. The collection was unavailable for only a few days during the relocation. The existing collection in the Reading Room first had to be updated, and duplicate books removed. The call numbers of this collection did have to be amended. It was not possible to complete the merging of the two collections before the end of 2011.

After almost a year, despite the sense of loss, the change is viewed as positive. Staff from the Faculty of Philosophy have found their way to the service desk of the nearby Library of Theology and Religious Studies, with which the Library of Philosophy now forms a single functional unit. This is also where inter-library loan (ILL) requests are dealt with. In the study area at the Faculty, there is a small reference library for students and a cabinet with compulsory literature.

Jacob van Sluis

Jacob van Sluis

The specialist librarian is the contact person, now that the Faculty of Philosophy no longer has the library service desk as a point of contact. Online resources have been provided for this purpose: the LibGuide, a blog that serves as a virtual shop window for presenting acquisitions and, every so often, a newsletter. Obviously there should still be scope for maintaining personal contact, for example by visiting the Faculty regularly for brief discussions, to consult the books that remained at the Faculty, or to collect post. It is important for the specialist librarian to attend PhD ceremonies, inaugural lectures, receptions and lectures in order to keep up with the Faculty’s main themes and interests. Informal chats on such occasions are often very informative.

Dr Jacob van Sluis