Originally published in Sweden, Fredrik Backman’s novel “A Man Called Ove” follows a short-tempered curmudgeon’s clashes and unexpected friendship with his new neighbors. This novel is one of three new books, alongside “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by Luvvie Ajayi, and “Documenting and Assessing Learning in Informal and Media-Rich Environments” by Jay Lemke, which entered the shelves of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) this week.
The OWHL currently owns about 100,000 books. On a daily basis, new books are added to the collection in the OWHL, the Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) library, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. Many of these new books are donations made by the community.
When accepting these donations, the librarians first check to see if they already own the book. Most are accepted to replace worn books or add to the library catalog. Collections of books that are specific to cultural diversity or American art are delivered to the CAMD library and the Addison library, respectively.
Apart from the donations, book requests are made by faculty members and students. If a student wishes to read a certain book or a member of the community recommends a book that would be helpful for the community, the librarians usually purchase these books.
“We actually aggregate on a monthly basis a list of books that we order at the end of each month. We do that and then we also take individual requests that we get from the community as well. We try to support all the different studies on campus, the curriculum, but also try to get a really diverse selection of fiction, or graphic novels, or pleasure reading types,” said Elizabeth Tompkins, instructional librarian, in an interview with The Phillipian.
OWHL is also part of an organization called the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE), which includes many college and public libraries. Any student at Andover has access to not only the books in the OWHL, but also the books in any of the libraries that belong to NOBLE.
Meanwhile, some students claimed that they did not have time to read books in the stacks for pleasure but instead read required readings for class.
“I read [books] exclusively for class projects. I think, however, we don’t need more [pleasure] books. In terms of collections for History-300, 200, 100, we have plenty of those, but the more relevant science periodicals, I think we need those,” said Rawit Assamongkol ’18.
Grace Hitchcock ’20 noted how recently published books were not readily available to her in the library. Hitchcock tried to check out a book that she wanted to read from the stacks, but was able to read the book four to five days later as the OWHL did not have a copy.
“The book was published relatively recently and so this library didn’t have it, but another branch of the library did… It would have been more convenient if they did have the book here. One thing that could be a beneficial change is to have books that are published recently as opposed to having to wait for them,” said Hitchcock.