Moving Library Collections: UO Libraries
Moving Library Collections
Planning Shifts of Library Collections
Planning a major shift of a library collection is not as complex as it is tedious. Careful measurement and excruciating attention to detail will almost always guarantee success. If your shift is large (lots of books, or lots of moving parts), I recommend that your plans be very thoroughly documented, widely shared, and each step of your plan be followed precisely. Smaller shifts can ooze from one step to another, combine steps, etc., because there are fewer things to forget.
The following pages outline the steps UO Library staff took when planning the shift of our collections. They worked for us; they may not work as well for you. One of the most important parts of shift planning and implementation is to remember that mistakes happen. When they do, it is time to sit back and figure out what you forgot, what factor didn't get included in the plans, or whether it was just human error. Regardless of the cause, it's a chance to put the project on pause for a moment, bolster up the ones who made the mistake, figure out how to fix it, and then move on.
Your shifts may vary a lot from ours, but we hope that by sharing our experiences we may help you with yours.
The basic steps of a shift are:
- get an overview of the current and proposed configurations, and of the Lib. Administration's goals/plans for the shift
- set up the planning team, begin the To Do list (the master plan)
- measure current collection and count current shelves
- count the number of new shelves being added to the collection and decide if growth space is to be distributed evenly throughout collection
- calculate fill rate of shelves
- do a paper shift to see if it really works. Determine the maximum number of simultaneous shifts you want (based on # shifters, # booktrucks, amount of time to complete shift)
- Give Library Administration an overview of the phases of the shift, etc., and be sure you're aiming in the direction they want and then tell library staff what's up
- if library will be open during shift, set plans and publicity
- make maps of shift areas and paths between them, if you find it necessary.
- prepare shifting supplies
- make a timeline
- test-run a shift: calculate travel time/shift time (sections/hour)
- train shifters
- monitor each shift, fix mistakes, remeasure, and readjust your growth space based on your new measurements.
- make end cards for ranges
- move ranges, if necessary
- revise public information: maps, information screens, pamphlets, range markers, etc.
- provide closure for the shift participants.