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Classifying periodicals in closed stacks Pennington, Buddy D. 10 Mar 2009 15:04 UTC

Hi all,

Our periodicals are currently on open shelves and are arranged by title.
We are in the process of building an automated storage and retrieval
system (ASRS) that will house all of our bound periodicals. We were
planning on classifying the currently received print periodicals to
create a periodicals reading area that would be browsable by subject. We
were not planning on classifying the bound volumes.

However, one of our public services librarians is now proposing that all
of the periodicals be classified for the library catalog (we wouldn't
print labels because the ASRS will not physically house the materials by
call number). Her argument for doing this project is that if most of the
materials are in closed stacks, users will browse virtually by call
number in the catalog.  If the noncurrent periodicals are not classified
they will not be included in this virtual browsing.  I have some doubts
as to the real benefits of this project.  My experience with browsing
has been that users either want to know what's current (browsing current
periodical issues) or are browsing for something they can pull off the
shelf and check out (books, DVDs, etc.).  I am not sure that users are
interested in browsing bound periodical volumes.  They typically have a
citation in hand when they need to get their hands on a bound

I would like to know if any libraries out there have either done this or
considered doing this (classifying periodicals prior to moving to closed
stacks or remote storage) within the last five years.  If you did so, do
you feel like the benefits were worth the cost of the project?  Thanks.

Buddy Pennington

Serial Acquisitions Librarian

University of Missouri - Kansas City

800 East 51st Street

Kansas City, MO  64110

Phone: 816-235-1548

Fax: 816-333-5584


UMKC University Libraries: Discovery. Knowledge. Empowerment.