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Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection (4 messages) Marcia Tuttle 17 Aug 1999 19:02 UTC

>From blacks@ROSNET.STROSE.EDU Tue Aug 17 14:55:09 1999
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 12:03:39 -0400
From: Steve Black <blacks@ROSNET.STROSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection (Phyllis              Broomfield)


Our collection is smaller than yours, but perhaps the method we used would
work for you, too.  Two years after the shift, I'm still pleased with the

1.  For each title, use a ruler or yardstick to measure the total shelf
space taken by each title, AND the amount taken by the most recent bound

2.  Enter the titles, their total shelf space, and the last year's shelf
space into a spreadsheet.  Pick how many years you want the shift to last,
and make a formula to calculate the shelf space needed for that many years,
and make this a new column.  So if Journal of Blah takes 24", and last
year's bound volume was 2", and you want to calculate for 10 years, it would
be 24+(2*10).  The "total plus growth" is thus 44".

3.  Make another column that is a running "total plus growth", then divide
this by 28".  Assuming you have 36" shelves, counting them as 28" gives you
enough "slop" to make this work.  I got that number from Sapp and Suttle,
1994, and I endorse it.  The running total divided by 28 will give you a
shelf number.

4.  Number the shelves consecutively (we used post-it notes).  This number
will be the match to the running total divided by 28.  If you end up with
more shelves than needed according to the spreadsheet, add an empty shelf at
whatever interval makes it work out evenly.

5.  Print out the spreadsheet columns with titles, total shelf space, and
the shelf number.  This will be your shifting guide.  Some deviation from
the numbered list is not a problem, as long as each range fits.

Measuring every title and doing the data entry is obviously very time
consuming.  But if the error rate for the measurements is small, it works
very well, especially if relatively unexperienced workers are involved in
shifting.  There will still be ceased titles, and added titles to mess
things up, but that will happen no matter what method you use.

Steve Black
Reference, Instruction, and Serials Librarian
Neil Hellman Library
The College of Saint Rose
392 Western Ave.
Albany, NY 12203
(518) 458-5494

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 09:31:25 -0400
> From: pbroomfi <pbroomfi@FAMU.EDU>
> Subject: Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection
> Colleagues,
> We will soon begin a project of shifting and weeding our collection of
> approximately 65,000 bound volumes.  We will receive additional shelving
> units for the shifting. We have done minor shifting in the past but
> never the entire collection.  If anyone has  guidelines for this major
> undertaking, I would appreciate hearing from you.
> Sincerely,
> Phyllis Broomfield

>From Dee.Neff@FURMAN.EDU Tue Aug 17 14:55:09 1999
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 13:22:12 -0400
From: Dee Neff <Dee.Neff@FURMAN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection (Phyllis              Broomfield)


Several summers ago J.B.Duke library was faced with a reclass of Dewey
which amounted to 1/3 of our collection.  We had changed to LC probably 10
years prior and this was the remnant that had not been reclassed over time.
At the time we were talking about a 450,000 volume collection overall.

We had the reclass done through OCLC and hired part-timers to key in our
shelf list.  From the tape load we were able to have labels/barcodes
generated that included old and new call numbers.  We went through the
books and slapped the labels on them and then moved them to a clearing area
where they were boxed by general LC classifications.  Anything that was
going to move between floors (we have three floors) was also boxed and sent
to the appropriate floor.  Then when we were done we just started shelving
the stuff from boxes back onto the shelves, integrating as we went along.

It took the entire summer and although we never closed the library, there
were times when specific books were nearly impossible to find.  We
encouraged everyone to deal with problems with as much humor as possible
(such as when the air conditioning failed during the 100 degree week), and
we had frequent morale raising parties throughout the summer.

Problems were boxed up along the way and handled as we went along as much
as possible.  As I recall, it was a couple of months after summer that the
problems were finally all cleared away.  (Problems, by the way, were bad
call numbers, incomplete call numbers, and call numbers without books.)
We still had a small remnant of Dewey leftovers which are still being
worked on.  Notably, a large portion was in our music classification.

We hired a 12 person student crew to do the majority of the work and
scheduled *all* faculty and staff to work half a day, every day, on the
project.  At the time, I was working nights, so I would come in and clean
off the scissors (a major labeling project makes for a *lot* of sticky
scissors!) and set out the work assignments for the next day.  Then I
worked on problem-solving for the rest of the evening.

It actually was quite an exciting time.  I think the most amazing part of
all was when we used shelf movers to move our completely loaded shelves
around on the first floor.  I'm sure you won't have to deal with that, but
it *is* doable.

If you are weeding your periodicals to remote, of course the best thing to
do would be to get rid of as much as possible before you start moving
around what you have left.  We had combined our serials when we made the
"big shift."  Formerly we had periodicals older than 5 yrs. on a different

In order to integrate the periodicals collection, we did a *lot* of
measuring.  The ideal was to measure many times and move them once.
Mostly, we were successful.  We allowed for five years of expansion between
current titles based on the previous five years' measurement.  Of course,
in some cases that was completely inadequate.  But we did the best we

Good luck to you!


Dee Neff
Serials Cat. Asst.
J.B.Duke Library
Furman University

>From MorsCa@WWC.EDU Tue Aug 17 14:55:09 1999
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 10:38:11 -0700
From: Carol Morse <MorsCa@WWC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection (Phyllis              Broomfield)

What we usually do is first to go out and measure how many inches of free
shelf space we have to work with.  Then we produce a printout of all
current titles, send the students out to do a shelf study for the number
of years' growth that we need.  Then we add up that amount of growth space
and compare it to the free shelf space, and adjust the no. of years growth
possible.  After that, one method is to move all the volumes to the end of
the collection (example the Z's in an alphabetical collection) and th en
start with the beginning (the A's) and spread them out.  But that's very
labor intensive--you are handling the same books twice.  You can start at
the beginning, and load sections of books on carts or tables while you are
working with them.  We also dust the books & shelves as we go.  We like to
leave empty shelves in each few sections for growth.  We ordered 20 extra
shelves at one time to help out.  Hope this helps.  Carol Morse

Carol Morse                                    Phone: 509:527-2684
Serials Librarian                              Fax::  509) 527-2001
Walla Walla College Library            Email:
105 S.W. Adams St.
College Place, WA  99324-1195

Grant us strength for the journey and wisdom to know the way.

>From Tue Aug 17 14:55:09 1999
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 11:15:45 -0700
Subject: RE: Shifting and Weeding Periodicals Collection (Phyllis Broomfi

I would be interested to hear about academic libraries withdrawing print
serials to get an idea of how many libraries are involved in this kind of
activity and what kinds of criteria are being used for weeding.  I am
writing a paper on the preservation of print serials and cooperative
collection management, and this information could be useful.

Melissa Hartley