Wednesday, December 7, 2011


While I am pleased with the press coverage the Ivy Stacks project has received over the past several weeks, the media continues to use words that I (unsuccessfully) discourage.  Tops on this list is the word 'storage' as in 'Ivy Stacks is a remote storage facility.'  In the library world we prefer the term 'shelving' facility.  It's much more librarian-ish.  Wal-Mart stores stuff for distribution.  Libraries shelve stuff for circulation.  Ivy Stacks is definitely part of the UVa Library system, not a place to simply stash stuff to get it out of sight.

Notice I use the word facility to describe the building.  Many people, including our friends in the media, often also use the word warehouse.  Ouch.  Warehouse has such a static, dormant, kind of a sense of 19th Century abandonment feel to it.  The Ivy Stacks facility is a working, active place.  Who wants to put money into a warehouse, especially in an academic setting with tight budgets?  A facility on the other hand implies a credible, worthwhile investment, which is much more appropriate to describe what Ivy Stacks is.  So I never use the word warehouse to describe Ivy Stacks but let's face it--it looks a lot like a warehouse so that's the word people use. 

All that said, thanks go out to the UVa Alumni magazine for their coverage of the Ivy Stacks retrofit.  Despite some of the their choice of vocabulary (however they often got it right), they were kind and accurate in their story, and they have a really good photographer.  Check it out at .

Quick update--we will have accessioned item number 500,000 by the end of the week.  Not bad for 4 months work.  I can kind of see what might be something like a light at the end of the tunnel. Wait, it just went out due to the holidays.