Books return to library shelves

A bookshelf in Price Gilbert library. The books in Price Gilbert were removed during renovations in 2017. // Photo by Ethan Vitak Student Publications

After a year transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Georgia Tech Library was compelled to shift most of its resources and services to a digital format, the Library is finally welcoming back its Core Collection of physical books. The collection has been missing from the Institute’s library since renovations on Price Gilbert began in 2017, but were not brought back until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Judge S. Price Gilbert Memorial Library, the Popular Reading collection can now be found on the first floor; the Psychology, Social Science, Architecture and Fine Arts collection on the second; the Literature and Science collection on the third and the Medicine, Engineering and Technology collection on the fourth.

The initiative to bring books back onto the shelves of the library started when vaccines were made available to Tech students, faculty and staff, as the school pushed for more in-person activities and classes in general. The return of the books was seen as a way to reengage students with school in a physical way following over a year of quarantine.

Towards the end of June 2021, to kick off the books’ journey back to the library, President Ángel Cabrera and Provost Steven McLaughlin helped place some of the first books back on shelves. These books belonged to the science fiction collection, which can be found in the Science Fiction Lounge on the first floor of Crosland Tower. The Library has continued to provide e-resources for the Tech community throughout the pandemic.

When course instruction was mostly online and most activities at Tech had adopted a virtual format, these digital resources were crucial for research and for classes to be able to continue smoothly. Scheduled visits and consultations with staff such as librarians, archivists and public service associates also continued virtually.

With the increased need for e-resources, the library also expanded on its online resources, accessible to all students, staff and faculty, in May 2021.

The Library now holds more than 30,000 physical volumes, as well as over 900,000 titles in cold storage at the Library Service Center.

There are a total of 1.2 million items in the library’s circulating collection, which includes books, eBooks, music and movies.

Since a large portion of this physical collection is stored in partnership with Emory University, students, staff and faculty can access items from Emory’s multi-million volume collection as well. More information regarding the resources offered by the Library and how to access them can be found at

In addition to its online resources and the physical books that are back on shelves, the Library is also offering a variety of free online and in-person workshops and activities for students and staff.

One of the upcoming workshops is an online EndNote 20 workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 5 p.m., which is intended to familiarize attendees with EndNote 20, a powerful bibliographic tool that can help with the research process.

Another is an Adobe Illustrator workshop Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 4 to 6 p.m., which will help attendees learn the interface and learn about features and tools within Illustrator.

More information about the return of the books and library services can be found on the Tech Library website and social media at