How to Ensure Your Library System Is Set up and Managed Properly


If you're responsible for configuring a new library at your facility then there are certain rules and protocols you need to be aware of. You need to know how to set up the library shelving system in the first place, how to properly "shelve" a book and how to manage your library efficiently. What are the main points to consider?

Configuring the Space

Always ensure that the shelves are properly adjusted according to the average height of the books they contain. In almost every case books should be stored in the upright position. However, it's often not practical to adjust the height of the shelf in order to accommodate the tallest book, in order to make the most efficient use of the total space available. In this case, those "outliers" should be laid on their spines with the identifying "call" number label facing outwards. The call number is a specific identifier allocated to the book by the library system when it is first introduced.


Once the shelves have been adjusted correctly for height, ensure that they are populated with books according to the individual call numbers. The books should be lined up with the edge of the shelf at all times, so that there is a neat and even appearance. This is known as "blocking."


Make sure that shelves are not overcrowded. Each book should slide back into its normal place when you apply a gentle pressure. If it won't, then the shelf is over full. Also, when books are overcrowded, an insufficient amount of air will be able to circulate between them. Over time this can lead to dampness and the formation of mould or mildew. This is another reason to ensure that shelves are correctly managed.

Book Care

If too many books are placed onto a crowded shelf, visitors will be tempted to try and prize them out of their place by grabbing hold of the top of the spine. This will just cause damage to the book in the long run. The proper method is to push the volumes that are on each side of the book forward, to make it easy to hold the centre of the required book's spine to remove. Set up your library shelves and book stock so that this can be achieved.

Proper Management

In a busy library, proper book management is important. Many users will not be too worried about adhering to a system and may replace books in the wrong section. This is why it's important to "read" every shelf periodically to ensure that the call numbers are in the correct order. Likewise, each shelf should be "blocked" as described above at the same time.

Remember, that the value of the library is totally related to the way it is managed on a daily basis. The materials can quickly get out of order, leading to frustration or dissatisfaction for students.


22 April 2015

Redecorating my house at last

While I was still married my house was a mish mash of both of our tastes in furnishing. Now that we have seperated I am finally getting a chance to decorate my house the way I wanted it. I have a couch that is truly comfortable and looks good, rather than the smelly old couch that used to live in our lounge room. It's so much more relaxing to walk into my house and enjoy looking around. I'm reading furniture catelogues like I used to read novels and researching like crazy. Join me on my redecorating adventure by reading along!