Monday, January 23, 2012

Shift Happens

In a library, there is one more thing that is certain, besides the oft-quoted death and taxes - shifting! That's what we librarians call the process of moving books from one shelf to another, for whatever the reason of the day is. It could be a new range of shelving has been added, as our Library has done recently. It could be that there isn't room on a particular shelf or section for all of the items that belong there, as frequently occurs after the holidays and at the end of Summer Reading program.

Shifting is a necessary and sometimes time-consuming process. Each and every item must be placed in the correct place, so that you can come to the Library and find the item you are looking for. Ideally, in a library like Plainfield, shelves are only about 2/3 filled to allow space for items currently checked out to return to the shelf. Without that space at the end of each shelf, shifting becomes a larger chore. Imagine having to move all of those books on the shelves from one shelf to another! It's hard work.

Shifting is one of the biggest challenges at the Plainfield Library, due to limited shelf space and the sheer amount of it that's needed. About half of the Plainfield Library's collection is checked out at any given time. So if you see Sheilah or Lisa pushing a big cart of books around the Library, say thank you! Those two ladies do the bulk of the shifting here. We couldn't keep the books in their places without them and their coworkers, Tim, Nichole, Tiffany and Rachel.

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