Brandeis Library & Technology Services

The Mysterious Gerstenzang Science Library

September 27th, 2017 · No Comments

Can’t find the Gerstenzang Science Library? There’s a reason for that.

The space became a storage facility in 2014, allowing the Brandeis University Library give back much needed space to the university, gain on-campus, high-density storage for a growing collection and improve access to the collection in the Goldfarb-Farber Library.

The main library had always been open more hours than Gerstenzang and had more equipment and assistance available to patrons. When Gerstenzang became storage, science materials that were more frequently used were moved to the second floor of Goldfarb.

Today Gerstenzang is home to materials that are still of value to the Brandeis community, but don’t need to be accessed often. Many items in formats such as microform and VHS will be stored in that location, along with some important but less used collections and print copies of journals.

Just because these items are in storage doesn’t mean they’re unavailable, however. If people still wish to access these materials, they can be pulled within an hour or two. In many cases, Brandeis Library’s Document Delivery service can be used to have articles and book chapters scanned and digitally sent directly to the user. Interested faculty also can make appointments to browse the shelves.

While many journals now are available online, it is important to keep copies in a permanent form in case access to the subscription is lost or the digital version becomes otherwise unavailable.

Brandeis belongs to the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST), a consortium of East Coast schools from Florida to Maine that has committed to retaining one copy of every book that is unique to that set of libraries.

Because Brandeis has a number of unique collections, the library uses Gerstenzang to store physical copies of less held items. Currently, Brandeis has committed to retain nearly 287,000 items under EAST.

As more libraries move toward digitization, facilities such as Gerstenzang ensure the legacy of Brandeis’ physical collections.

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