Erin Smith and Laura Benjamin (SU Libraries) undertook a massive endeavor to free up space in the Syracuse University Bird Library, which required shifting a high number of books. They needed to shift books from the second floor to make more space for students. No books could be shifted outside of Bird Library and there wasn't enough time to do weeding.
Will the books fit?
- They did a shelf count and they measured the collection
- They were only able to add 84 shelves, which was not enough.
- While all the books would fit into the library, the shelf fill rate would be higher than recommended.
Who will do the work? The fact that staff is unionized impacted that. They were able to work through this issue.
The developed strategic fill rates for each call number based on growth. They created four fill rate categories.
They used an Excel spreadsheet to map every shelf in the library. This was a ton of work, but it helped them recognize when their plan was not yielding the free space they expected.
They made a glossary so that all workers were calling things by the same names.
Erin and Laura talked us through an amazing 8-month project that was fraught with problems that crept in. They found creative solutions for addressing the problems they encountered, including not having enough space. The good news is that they got done on schedule.
Long term impacts
- No extra room
- Ongoing discussion on future plans for space
- Solid planning gives you a framework to rely on, even when the project doesn’t play out as planned
- Keep the goal and related projects in mind when making changes