Serials Shelving Schemes (4 messages) Marcia Tuttle 27 Apr 1999 22:50 UTC


>From dluce@FAULKNER.EDU Tue Apr 27 18:46:30 1999
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:11:00 -0500
From: Dena Luce <dluce@FAULKNER.EDU>
Subject: Re: Serials Shelving Schemes (Peter Washkevich)


We also have our periodical titles in alpha order and have considered
cataloging them in LC.  The main reason we haven't is the simplicity of
alpha order.  The students are used to it and they know the area in which
the periodicals are located.  We are still able to run collection
development reports in our system because the bib records contain call
numbers gleaned from OCLC.  If we do catalog, it will be years down the road
when we have more staff and more space.

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:26:54 -0400
>From: "Washkevich, Peter" <washkevich@MARSHALL.EDU>
>Subject: Serials Shelving Schemes
>Our library is currently considering undertaking a major project.  We are
>considering putting all of our journals in LC call number order.  Our
>journals are currently shelved in alphabetical order, with every journal
>assigned the call number PER.
>My question:  do you feel that there is a substantial advantage to shelving
>periodicals in LC call number order vs. alphabetically?
>Would it be worth the substantial time and effort involved to rearrange the
>collection in this way?
>Peter Washkevich / Marshall University

Dena Lahue Luce, M.L.S.                     (334) 386-7209 phone
Public Services Librarian                      (334) 386-7299 fax
Faulkner University                   
Gus Nichols Library
5345 Atlanta Hwy.
Montgomery, AL 36109-3398

                            The tortoise beat the hare.  Remember that..


>From jaward@MAIL.UCF.EDU Tue Apr 27 18:46:30 1999
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:22:10 -0400
From: Jeannette Ward <jaward@MAIL.UCF.EDU>
Subject: Re: Serials Shelving Schemes (Peter Washkevich)

With LC call numbers, title changes continue to be shelved together.
Periodicals with LC call numbers can be inter-shelved with library
materials (circulating books), keeping most library materials on a
subject together.
If you change from separate to integrated periodical shelving with
monographs, my experience indicates 1/3 of your library users will love
it, 1/3 will be opposed and 1/3 will have no opinion or hadn't noticed!

Jeannette Ward
Serials/Media Department Head
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 162440
Orlando, FL 32816-2440

(407) 823-2575
(407) 823-6289 (fax)


>From dgoodman@Princeton.EDU Tue Apr 27 18:46:30 1999
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:25:49 -0400
From: David Goodman <dgoodman@Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: Serials Shelving Schemes (Peter Washkevich)

I think that arranging journals in call number order is a disaster for the
users unless you have such a large library that they cannot be realisticaly
expected to walk through the alphabetic arrangement. Users typically come to
use the journals to get a specific article from a specific journal. If they
know the title they can walk right to the journal and get it without
consulting any lists, catalogs, or computers. In the case of the sciences and
other fields where the journals represent most of the library use, this is
particularly critical.  Any advantage by the LC subject arrangment is negated
by the inconsistent and scattered way LC classifies journals. If you doubt
this, just take the bibliography at the end of an article, and look for the
call numbers of the individual titles.

Arranging journals by call number takes less thought for the library
staff--there's just one sequence for everything--but requires the user to
check every title every time. We are here, I think, to encourage and
facilitate library use, not to multiply barriers. As the ultimate absurdity, I
have actually seen libraries that arrange even the unbound issues by call
number, though it means the library staff need to write the call number on
each issue, thus maximizing the work of  everyone, including themselves.
In a large library where the journal collection would fill several floors,
there may be no alternative, assuming you do not have a divisional arragement.
Even for a single very large floor, there may be a point. I have indeed seen
one or two cases of an A-Z arrangment where the floor was spread out enough to
give even me second thoughts.

David Goodman
Biology Librarian, Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627


>From mickeyb@GSLIS.UTEXAS.EDU Tue Apr 27 18:46:30 1999
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:32:46 -0500
From: michaelbrown <mickeyb@GSLIS.UTEXAS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Serials Shelving Schemes (Peter Washkevich)

Peter, I work at a very small (15,000 vols) astronomy library at the
University of Texas at Austin. We shelve all periodicals (current and
older, bound vols.) in alphabetical order. I thought this was weird when I
first took over the job because I had only ever worked for larger academic
libraries that assigned EVERYTHING call numbers.

However, I am also a library student at UT, and so I have a new
perspective on things. Studying library science requires a tremendous
amount of research of industry literature, mostly in the form of journals.
I have a paper due next week that required use of at least 10 sources
-- I found well over 20. All of the journals I needed were located at the
main UT library, which shelves everything by call number. Not only did I
have to keep track of my search results that I gathered from the various
print and electronic indexes, but I then had to go find and keep track of
the call numbers that UT uses. I would have been happier if the journals
had been shelved in aplha order, like they are at my library.

The Astronomy Department faculty and students that use my library were all
participants in the decision to shelves the journals alphabetically here.
I think it's a good decision. When you've already got a ton of information
to process, having to keep track of journal call numbers seems

If you still aren't convinced, perhaps you could ask the students what
they prefer. After all, who does your library serve?

michael brown, librarian
peridier library, RLM 15.308
ut austin, dept. of astronomy
austin, tx 78712-1083