Whether you are faced with a move of your collection or a downsizing, SPACE MANAGEMENT is an essential skill to have.
Here are some things I’ve learned about space management…
- Library space is prime real estate.
- If you give up space today, you likely will need that space tomorrow.
- What you cancel and toss or recycle today, someone probably will want tomorrow.
PREPARING FOR A COLLECTION REDUCTION:
- Always keep a list of possible cancellation candidates, even if you haven’t been told to downsize.
- Try to keep tabs on what is and what is not being used.
- Compare what’s available online versus what you have in print.
- Get the most bang for your cancellation buck – look for larger sets and/or expensive sets that aren’t being used.
- Don’t immediately toss/recycle cancelled or obsolete material; use it as a place-holder on your shelves.
- If you find out that you do need something that you have cancelled, accept the fact that you may have to reorder it.
PREPARING FOR A MOVE:
- Be an active participant in the planning process for the new library space.
- Get accurate floor plans of your new library space.
- Measure your shelving needs in terms of “linear feet” – one linear foot might hold 6 books that are 2″ wide, but remember that not all books are the same width.
- If you have a shelf that is only half-full, count that shelf as an entire shelf.
- Incorporate room for growth into your calculations, especially for periodicals and for sets that tend to add new volumes on a regular basis.
- Incorporate empty shelf space throughout the collection, in the event that you need to shift or if you want to offer some open shelves for your patrons to use.
- Keep in mind the depth and the height of the shelves – if you have a shelf that’s 10″ high, and you have 3-ring looseleaf binders that are 12″ high, you just lost an entire shelf.
- Ideal shelving dimensions to accommodate most print materials: 36″ wide X 12″ deep X 12″ high.
- Make sure you know how to adjust your shelves and that you don’t need extra tools, like a screwdriver, to do so.
- If possible, adjust the shelves before the books are moved.
- A handy tool to have on hand is a metal tape measure that you can lock.
- Find out if the movers you are using have any experience moving books.
- If possible, be around when the movers are working, so you can spot and correct any problems that may arise.
SLA Legal Division Mentoring Committee Chair