Re: gov docs in storage
From: Jeff Essic (
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:02:53 -0700 (PDT)
In 2012 we moved ~80% of our docs into our automated retrieval "bookBot" system in the new Hunt Library.  Because so much of the collection is uncataloged, items are stored in SuDoc order in the bins.  The computer controlling the bookBot knows the SuDoc range within each bin.  When an item is requested, the bookBot pulls the proper bin, and a staffer thumbs through the bin and pulls out the requested item.

Of the remaining ~20%, many items were reclassified and integrated into the LC collection.  We also kept out the Congressional Record and the Serial Set since those are very long runs with the same SuDoc - a problem for the bookBot.  And a small batch of reference items were retained.

The planning process took over a year and was very daunting.  Fortunately, it was led by someone from our finance office whose accounting background was a perfect fit because the job required someone organized to track the myriad of problematic items and other issues that arose.  Some of the challenges involved what to do with some of the gigantic folio items, and what to with the loose single sheets and pamphlets.  And since the bookBot needed to be "dust free" - the entire collection had to be cleaned.  That's where our accountant leader helped again because she hired and directed an army of students to execute much of the prep work.

After the move, there were a few complaints that things weren't where they used to be.  But that didn't last long, and we made sure everyone was accommodated and happy.  Overall the work has paid off.  The most visible benefit is that much of the old shelving was removed and the space the docs once occupied is now being used by many times more people than before.

Jeff Essic
Data Services Librarian
North Carolina State University
D.H. Hill Library, Research & Information Services
Box 7111, Raleigh, NC  27695-7111
(919) 515-5698

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