SUNY makes book borrowing easier at its 60 libraries

Jul 5, 2019

The State University of New York has merged the catalogs of its libraries across the entire 60-branch system.

While the catalogs have long been linked, SUNY now has a software package that merges the book catalogs from the University at Buffalo and from Stony Brook or Erie Community College.

"Any SUNY affiliate can walk in to another SUNY institution and borrow materials. That has been going as long as I have worked here, for over 20 years," said Nicole Colello-Klubek, head of library services and Libraries Services Platform project lead. "The new system makes it a little easier for them to do that. We can pull in like a mini-record, a patient record of theirs from their home institution and check it out to them right in our own catalog."

Nancy Babb, UB cataloging, web and discovery services librarian, said the new platform will allow more control on the number of individual book purchases.

"If there's a book that is quick and easy to get from another institution, there's a few things," she said. "Number one, if we get a lot of requests for the same material, which suggests maybe we need more copies or we need to look at other ways of making sure that people can get quick and easy access to things. But it's also any book that we don't purchase allows different books to be purchased."

Students will be able to keep the books longer, although a book can be recalled if another student needs it. At the same time, many of today's students don't need a physical book because books are online, which clears space.

UB's Silverman Library had most of the books put in storage nearby and are available within a day. That opened up space for computers for students to use.