The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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September 2007

What’s New · Main Library for the 21st Century · Frequently Asked Questions

Is material from the Library’s collection being discarded?

No. Staff are reviewing which materials should be kept on the public floor and which should be housed in the stacks. Other ongoing collection maintenance projects will continue as usual.

Will I continue to have access to the entire collection?

Yes, however, at times it may a little longer to locate the items you’re looking for as the collection is being shifted.

If I send to the stacks for something, how long will it take?

It may take slightly longer than usual to locate your items but we will make every effort to retrieve them quickly.

I’m used to getting assistance from staff at the subject department service desks. Tell me more about the roving reference staff.

Roving reference staff have the same resources as desk staff did in the subject departments but will take a more proactive approach to assisting customers. For example, instead of pointing customers to shelf ranges, roving reference staff will take customers directly to the appropriate area. Roving reference staff will also have access to computers to assist customers with online resources.

How will I recognize roving staff? Will they be identifiable?

All roving reference staff will wear a staff badge on a red lanyard that says, “May I help you?”

Will there be any directories or floor indicating where to find various departments? If so, where will they be located?

Yes, when the transformation is complete, floor map/directories will be located next to each of the six banks of elevators throughout the building. Printed maps of the new Main Library will also be available at that time.

If I have a general subject to research, where should I start my search?

The best place to begin is the Information & Reference Services desk on the 2nd floor of the south building. There, you’ll find plenty of reference librarians ready to assist you.

If I need information on a specialized subject (such as art), will there still be certain areas within the building I should visit? Or where and how should I start my search?

Customers may begin their specialized subject search either by going to the relevant shelf range or stopping by the Information & Reference Services desk. While many reference staff at the service desk and the roving reference staff are generalists, there will still be reference staff with specialized subject expertise.

How much will this cost?

Construction costs, including approximately $400,000 for carpeting and other ongoing maintenance costs, are under $1.1 million. The project will pay for itself within a year from savings from a more efficient staffing model.

Has this project resulted in the layoff of any staff?

No, the staffing model was completed through attrition and re-assignment.