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Monday, November 2, 2015

FCFCA Resolution on Preservation of Shelving Space post Renovation, October 29, 2015

The following resolution was approved by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (FCFCA) at its October 29, 2015, membership meeting. 

Preservation of Shelving Space post Renovation
Approved by Federation Board, October 22, 2015
and Federation Membership, October 29, 2015
During the past decade the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has been unwilling to provide an adequate materials budget to replace lost, worn out and inaccurate books for the Fairfax County Public Library.

In 2004 Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library had 175,000 books in its collection (from FCPL Materials Inventory).  The Tysons-Pimmit collection has been reduced since that year by harsh discard guidelines including the following:
  • So-called "low demand" books are being purged with only 24 months of non-circulation (industry standard is 60 months).  This particularly affects books on art, music, history, religion, philosophy and biography;
  • The collection was further reduced in preparation for "floating" the collection through the entire system;
  • Next, the collection was reduced during the attempt to transition from print to digital following the 2012 Library Strategic Plan, including the massive dumping of books during the disastrous Beta Plan;
  • Further loss has occurred due to the current mechanism of redistributing books that enables Technical Operations to discard books in good condition that are transferred away from branches with too many copies or low demand copies; 
  • Finally, on orders from Collection Services all books that are not in pristine condition must be discarded, even when wear is extremely minimal.  The common and highly cost-effective procedure of mending slightly worn books is not encouraged.
As a result of all of this, Tysons-Pimmit has suffered a net loss of over 70,000 books.   That's 70,000 from one Branch alone. 

In 2004 Woodrow Wilson Library had a collection size of 87,000 holdings and after renovation currently holds only 46,851 books (July 2015 Collection Analysis).  Another 40,000 books lost.

Under the current renovation plans for Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, the FCPL Collection Manager has reduced the amount of shelving in floor plans so only enough linear feet of shelving for a maximum of 110,000 books will be accommodated after the renovation.  The amount of linear feet for shelving space for books currently in the Tysons-Pimmit library will be halved.  
Losses on this scale are occurring throughout the County.  Most at risk at the moment are those Branches undergoing or soon to undergo renovation, including Tysons-Pimmit, Reston, Pohick, John Marshall and Kingstowne. 

WHEREAS Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations wishes to see branch collections restored and enhanced after a decade of loss,

WHEREAS the resulting crowding of books from reduced shelving would necessitate further weeding and more discards,

WHEREAS the current collection levels throughout the county locks branch collections into the smallest collection in their history,

WHEREAS reduction in linear feet of shelf space will not allow a collection room to grow,

WHEREAS a new library director may want to eliminate the floating collection that causes books to be irregularly distributed throughout the branches,

WHEREAS Fairfax County intends for the population of Fairfax County to grow substantially by 2030,

WHEREAS the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations desires a collection size beyond the bare minimum required by Virginia statute to provide for the growing Fairfax County population,


BE IT RESOLVED:  The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations hereby requests that all future renovations and rebuild of county libraries have adequate linear feet of usable shelving space to house at least their historic highest collection levels

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