Library:Koerner Compact Shelving and Interfiling

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Compact Shelving

What is the rationale for introducing compact shelving?

Koerner Library was built with approximately 5 years of collection expansion space. It is now in its 9th year of operation and is running out of space.
Even when it opened, Koerner Library did not have sufficient space to house all of the Library's materials in arts, humanities and social sciences. In fact, only about 60% of materials in these disciplines could be accommodated in the new building, with the remaining materials left in Main (now the I. K. Barber Learning Centre), thereby splitting the collection and frustrating users. The installation of the second phase of compact shelving now approaching completion should allow for about 125,000 volumes from the I.K. Barber Learning Centre to be moved into Koerner Library. The use of compact shelving will accommodate the acquisition of new materials as well. A further benefit will be the interfiling of journals with the books (see below).

Who made the decision?

A committee of people, including the former Assistant University Librarian for Public Services and the former Head of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division recommended this approach. The approach was revisited by a committee again this year and was approved by the Faculty of Arts Library Advisory Committee.

Has this system, in which the patrons move shelves, been used elsewhere?

Yes, frequently. In fact our own Woodward and Law Libraries have publicly accessible compact shelving in use. This form of shelving is widely used by a variety of institutions including museums, art galleries and libraries.

How will I browse materials?

Browsing is certainly an issue. We have tried to provide carrels and tables close by so that students can take several books from the shelf at once to peruse in a more leisurely fashion. Browsing may be improved by the installation of compact shelving, as students will no longer have to go to the I.K. Barber Learning Centre and to the Bound Journals area, too.

Interfiling Books and Bound Journals

What's happening with the bound journals in Koerner Library?

We are interfiling our bound journals with our books in Koerner Library as we do in many of our other branches. At the same time as these are being interfiled we are placing some older items with electronic access into storage as they are getting very little use and we need the shelf space to keep more heavily used print items available in a convenient way.

What's the current status of interfiled journals and books?

Update April 13, 2007: All books and journals in Koerner Library have been interfiled. Find books and journals, by call number, on these floors:

  • Level One: A - PN
  • Level Two: Reference books and current journals
  • Level Three: Circulation
  • Level Four: PQ - PR4799
  • Level Five: PR4800 - PS 3569
  • Level Six: PS3570 - ZZ