We use cookies to customise content, provide social media features and to analyse traffic to this website. To confirm you are happy with this and want to continue exploring our site, please click here. For more detailed information, read our cookie usage guide.

Moving The IFIS Library

So the worst has happened, the student union (SU) has told you that the library cannot stay in its current location and it needs to be moved. The SU may get the University porters to move the cabinets for you but THEY MUST BE EMPTY for this to happen. Depending on the urgency and how much time people can dedicate to the move there are two ways you can go about this. Any cardboard boxes used to transport books will need to be very sturdy.

The long way

If you can plan ahead, get enough boxes and have enough room (the library takes up a surprising amount of floor space) then it should be possible to remove the books from the shelves and label everything in such a way that they can go back exactly where they came from. To date, this has never been successfully accomplished and it seems likely that you would need to recatalogue everything anyway to ensure that nothing walks off.

The hard way

The last two times the library has been moved, there has been limited time to empty the books from the library meaning that any sort of ordering is only approximate. Luckily, I have pioneered a way to reorder and recatalogue the resulting carnage with only a minimum of effort.

  1. Place the books back in the library roughly corresponding to alphabetical order. Don't worry about book-by-book but get the first quarter of the alphabet in the same place etc. Large books go on their own shelves anyway (they'll be the easy ones here). Try and get the first shelves more accurate if you can.
  2. Place each individual shelf in reverse alphabetical order - ie put z at the back right and a at the front left. This doesn't take up too much time and means you don't have to empty more than a shelf at a time.
  3. Start at the beginning and put the library in true alphabetical order, marking off items as you go. I recommend only filling each shelf up with 2.5 layers to save room for expansion or mistakes. I found it easiest to mark item locations in a downloaded (excel) version of the library to be reuploaded later. The reverse-ordering of the shelves means that at each new stage the next books to be added will be at the front of the shelves so you can easily grab them.

This method means the entire library can be recatalogued solo if need be but if you can get a person or two to help then it will go much more smoothly. Nevertheless enjoy the ride - there are many hidden gems in the library and I found some interesting new reads while I was recataloguing.

Librarian 15/16 and 17/18
If you ever come up with better advice than the above, please update this.