TCU starts to unload 800,000 books from library

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 4:55 PM

FORT WORTH -- The task of archiving and moving more than 800,000 volumes of work is so overwhelming, some of the student workers selected to do it are still in disbelief.

"I keep expecting to run out of books and shelves," said Rachel Sandfort, a TCU student.

But that hasn't happened.

The Mary Couts Burnett Library at TCU is archiving everything from old novels to outdated history books to make room for a remodel that will include expanded student study areas.

All of the works are being relocated to a new warehouse and annex facility a few miles from campus.

The director of the library, James Lutz, said the move is long overdue.

"Eighty percent of the use comes from 20 percent of the items," he said referring to student's use of the facility.

Lutz said the transfer of books represent two-thirds of the library's total inventory, and amounts to 61,000 linear feet of book.

Lined up next to one another, the works would stretch the length of 193 football fields, or more than 11 miles.

"It can be a little overwhelming, but we're committed," Lutz said.

The work will take the next three months to complete.

Lutz said what is being shipped represents the least-used works, a lot of which haven't been checked out in more than decade.

Despite that, the university felt it was important as an academic institution to retain most of the works.

"Y'never know when you might need something," Lutz said.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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