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Hoover/SUL Realignment

The Chronicle of Higher Education
1255 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Jennifer Yachnin's December 6 article, "Stanford U. Weighs a Plan to Fold Hoover Library Into Campus System."  Several researchers quoted in the article expressed concern about the future of the Hoover Library and its archives.  I would like to reassure them:  Stanford University recognizes the value of the Hoover Library, and we have no plans to close it or to reduce its funding for collections of either archival or non-archival materials.

However, it is a fact that the Hoover Library is out of space.  Currently, the Hoover Library houses archives, special collections, rare books and documents, as well as portions of the University's general collection in certain areas, such as Eastern Europe and Asia.  It cannot continue to accumulate material in all of these collections without moving some of its holdings to another location.  Thus the Hoover Library's current options are to stop collecting any new material or to store portions of its material elsewhere.

The Hoover Institution and the Stanford University Libraries have jointly submitted to me a proposal to ameliorate this situation.  The proposal would involve moving the general library collection, i.e., the non-rare, non-archival material, to Green Library.  Green is Stanford's main library and is located approximately 100 yards from Hoover Library.  This move would allow all parts of the collections to continue to grow and to keep the material in rough proximity.

The proposal does not involve a decrease in funding.  In fact, this fall I have received, and am considering, proposals to increase the budgets for both archival and general collections at the Hoover.  If we move forward with this proposal, the budget for the general library collection, along with the relevant staff, will move to the main library, but the budget will not be decreased. 

Users of Hoover Library are understandably concerned about whether this will affect access to the material.  The change will offer benefits on that score.  Green Library is the closest of all potential locations and provides primary support staff.  Users of Hoover Library will have increased access to the general material stored in Green, since Green's hours of operation are considerably longer than Hoover's.  They will not be allowed to check out material, but that policy is no different from Hoover's, and they will be allowed to browse and use any other material in the Green stacks.

This is just a proposed solution that we are currently considering.  Before making a final decision, I will be consulting our local faculty who depend on all the Hoover collections, to make sure this is the best available option.

The leadership at Stanford recognizes that the Hoover Library is a national research treasure, as well as a Stanford treasure, and our goal is to find the best way to continue building its collections, while still making them as accessible to all users as the harsh Euclidean realities of space constraints permit.

John Etchemendy
Stanford University
Telephone:  (650) 724-4074

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| Table of Contents | Transmittal Memo | Library Reorganization | Attachment 1 | Supplement to Attachment 1 | Timetable |
| Timetable East Asia | Hoover FAQ | Project Budget | Keller Letter to Editor | Raisian/Palm Letter to Editor |
| Etchemendy Letter to Editor | Message from the Provost |