- CEE 593 (Engineering Management Methods I: Data, Information, and Modeling)
- CEE 594 (Engineering Management Methods II: Managing Uncertain Systems)
- quality control
- resource allocation
1. Space Optimization and Forecasting
– This library grows by 675 linear feet of shelf space each year
2. Inventory Control
– Shelf reading to find missing books
3. Resource Location
– Finding the best arrangement of books and journals to suit the needs of both public and staff
Space Optimization and Forecasting
Space is a big issues for libraries. Even with the increase of digital collections, the print collection continues to grow. When the shelves are full, what do we do? Where should we allow the most growth room? Here are some suggestions:
1. Move lower-use books to the Library Annex.
The Engineering Library has moved over 70,000 books to the Annex since 1997. A forklift operates there to ensure rapid 24-hour retrieval of any book or journal volume. Articles can be delivered electronically to the desktop. Books are arranged by size, not by call number, for space efficiency.
2. Forecast popular and high-growth areas.
Use a formula that gives usage points for each call number. Checked-out books are rated the highest, then browsed books, then shelves with the most books out of order.
3. Buffer Room
Move the most heavily-used books to Stack 1, which is on the first floor and convenient to all. This is similar to the bookstore model, which places the most popular titles on the most prominent location in the store. This also makes it easier and quicker for those shelving books. Stack 1 could potentially hold 14,940 books. However, this method would make it more difficult to find books overall since the entire stacks would not be in strict call number order.
4. Carrel Clustering
Carrels suffer from poor lighting, not enough space, and are inconvenient to find. By clustering them on Stack 1 or in the Basement (if we removed the microfiche), carrels could provide more space for laptops and small group study.
Improve lighting, purchase color copiers, simplify laptop checkouts (and increase the number), include browsing trucks in the stacks to improve efficiency in reshelving.
The Engineering Library has already implemented the following:
- Installed browsing shelves throughout the stacks so books can be consulted easily, and left for reshelving by staff.
- Increased the number of circulating laptops and simplified the loan process.
- Created a pathway on the right (east) wall in Stacks 2 and 3 so it is easier to walk around the shelves as one follows the call numbers, searching for a book. The problem remains on the Basement’s right side.
Inventory Control – Finding Misshelved Books
Students shelf read (scan shelves for out-of-order books) to keep the books in correct call number order and to locate misshelved books. Using the traditional method, each book’s call number is compared to that of the books adjacent to it. Every book is checked, without regard to usage level.
What’s the Shelf-Reading Problem?
It’s tedious work and extremely time-consuming. There are too many shelves (over 7000)!
Traditional Method of Shelf-Reading:
Average time: 2.24 minutes per 3-foot shelf
Average number of shelving errors found: 1.18 per shelf
Time needed to shelfread library by this method: 274 hours (for 7,340 shelves)
Our Goal: Design a procedure which finds 90% of displaced books in half the read time.
What’s Project QuickRead?
- Project QuickRead was a joint effort between the Engineering Library staff and the students of CEE 593 in the Fall 2000 semester to design a method of library stacks maintenance which optimized available time and resources to find and correct the greatest number of shelving errors in the least amount of time.
- As implemented, library student employees spend 15 minutes per shift checking 25 to 35 shelves of books for 8 weeks of each term. Once completed, 85% of the entire library has been checked.
- QuickRead targets high-use call number ranges in the collection instead of trying to cover all 7,340 shelves.
“Though QuickRead does not find every misshelved book, the real value of the method is its ability to cover far more shelves than conventional reading methods.”
– Catherine Vellake, Stacks Supervisor
Resource Location – What’s the Best Way to Arrange the Collection?
Stacks are in A-Z order (Library of Congress Classification System is used).
To make the books and journals easier to find, breaks are made at the end of each floor in a “clean” spot, such as A-Q, not A-QA 76.6.
However, this concentrates the most heavily used books in the basement and costs 217 shelves overall. To the left is a diagram of what we have. Is this the best way?