Compact Shelving Project, 2007

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I.    Project Background
II.   Project Timeline    
III.  Guidelines for Selecting Materials     
IV.  Projected # of Titles, Linear Feet, etc.

I. Project Background

In October 2006, the WSU Libraries received $500,000 to support the purchase and installation of compact shelving and the labor associated with moving the books. The shelving will be installed in the south end of the lower level of Ablah Library, and the installation is tentatively scheduled to begin after finals in May 2007.

One goal of the compact shelving project is to create approximately 5-7 years growth space in the existing static shelving. Current shelving is over 90% full. In order to facilitate use, accommodate new items, and reduce shifting, library operating standards call for shelving to remain below the 80% fill mark measures.

A second goal is to create additional study space for library users. Over the last several years, additional shelving has been added to accommodate the growing collection. This additional shelving has encroached on study spaces and reduced the Libraries’ ability to respond to changing space needs of students.

The compact shelving area will be closed stacks. The materials in the area will either have low historic use or will be items at long-term or temporary risk due to content. All materials in the area will be represented in the WSU Online Catalog with the location in the compact shelving area clearly indicated. Procedures will be established for requesting and retrieving items from compact shelving, and the items will be checked out according to the same pre-transfer circulation policies.

Two committees have been convened to work on the compact shelving project: Compact Shelving Project Steering Committee (Kathy Downes, Chair, Gwen Alexander, John Stewart, John Williams) and Compact Shelving Project Selection Team (Cathy Moore-Jansen, Chair, Sai Deng, Beverly Henline, Lorraine Madway, Nan Myers).

II. Project Timeline

October 2006            Funding for compact shelving received from VPAAR's office

December                Compact Shelving Steering Committee and Compact Shelving Selection Team convened

April 6, 2007              Preliminary lists and linear feet estimates prepared by Materials Selection Team

April 16-30                 Lists reviewed by departmental faculty

mid May                     Shifting of materials in lower level to temporary shelving begins

1st week of June       Construction of compact shelving in lower level begins (lasts for 10 weeks)

June-August              Shifting of materials into compact shelving continues

mid August                Construction of compact shelving completed

FY08                          Shifting of materials into compact shelving, shifting of materials on all levels to make room for
                                  additional study areas; project completed

III. Guidelines for Selecting Materials

Print materials in all disciplines and subjects in the WSU Libraries are subject to review for selection for compact shelving. The Compactshelving Project Selection Team, chaired by the Coordinator of Collection Development, is responsible for establishing
criteria and selecting items for the compact shelving area. The Team is to prepare lists of selected items by March 30, 2007. The Subject Librarians will provide input on selected titles, review proposed title lists, and seek feedback from faculty when appropriate.
The “final” list will be made available on a Web site for review
. Faculty will be given the opportunity to respond to these selection decisions within a limited time frame. Detailed procedures for the faculty review process are available on the website.

The guidelines and procedures given below are based on standard library practices (e.g. Guide to Review of Library Collections: Preservation, Service, and Withdrawal, 2nd  ed., Chicago: American Library Association, 2002) and guidelines developed at other libraries, e.g. University of Kansas.

Some guiding principles of compact shelving project are:

  • Compact shelving provides a secure environment for little used or at risk materials.
  • All materials are accessible upon request, and a research area will be made available to users for reviewing requested materials.
  • All compact shelving selection decisions are reversible, and selected materials may be returned to the general stacks if warranted by user need or retrieval rates.
  • All materials in compact shelving will eventually be accessible through the Online Catalog.

A. General Criteria

The chief principles in selecting material for compact shelving are use and value to the current curriculum and research needs
of WSU faculty,  staff, and students. These general criteria are applicable for all disciplines, though the specific guidelines
may vary from discipline to discipline.

   1. User demand for the material, generally indicated by low circulation statistics.

   2. Artifactual value of the material (to assure protection of vulnerable materials not suitable for transfer to Special Collections)

   3. Physical condition of the material (as an alternative to replacement or reformatting.

   4. Availability of the material in other formats (e.g. digital or microform)

B. Guidelines for Selection

Selection and processing of material for compact shelving are time- and labor-intensive operations. Therefore, selection will
focus on large groups of low-use items for transfer.

Materials in the following categories have priority during the selection process:

    1. Print runs of serials (e.g. annuals, indexes, periodicals) that have ceased publication or been cancelled in print
        before 2000.

              Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts
              British Museum Catalogue of Printed Maps, Charts and Plans
              Texas State Journal of Medicine           

    2. Print runs of serials that have been completely duplicated online.

              America History and Life
              American Chemical Society Journals

     3. Large, complete, monographic sets or series that have not circulated more than five times within the last five years.

  Bibliographie der Deutschen Bibliothek; Halbjahres-Verzeichnis
              World Bibliographies of Bibliographies 

      4. Books with special features (e.g. graphics, maps or plates), or those whose condition may benefit from the security
          of closed stacks.

            5. Rare materials not in scope for Special Collections and University Archives but which may benefit from the security
         of closed stacks.

C. Items Not Targeted for Transfer Except under Special Circumstances

            1. Print runs of serials that have ceased publication or been cancelled in 2000 or later.

            2. Print runs of current serial titles prior to specific dates. In general, journal runs will not be split between compact
          shelving and general stacks.

            3. Individual volumes of multi-volume monographic sets or series will not be split between compact shelving and
          general stacks.

            4. Current acquisitions, regardless of date of publication.

            5. Print runs of serials that have been canceled, but may be reinstated.

            6. Items not represented in the online catalog.  

D. Items that May be Transferred; Decisions Made on a Case-By-Case Basis

            1. Print runs of serials that are not completely duplicated online. Would need room for growth if title is current.

                        Biological Abstracts (print: 1926-2003; online: 1995-present)
                  JSTOR – moving wall; have online backfiles, but not current issues                             
                  IEEE periodicals; canceled in 2003; only have online since 1998           
                  U.S. Congressional Serial Set (online covers only up to 1980)

      2.  Cumulative indexes to specific periodical titles, regardless of where serial housed.

      3.  Print runs of current serials that we are getting in both print and online and is completely duplicated online.
           Would need room for  growth.

                        Journal of American Chemical Society

      4.  Monographic titles which have not circulated more than five times within the last five years.

      5.  Earlier volumes of current annuals and continuations of a reference nature that have circulated infrequently during
           the last five years.

IV. Projected # of Titles, Linear Feet, etc. 


# titles

# shelves

# linear inches

# linear feet in CS

# linear feet,
10 yr growth

Serials (Ceased/Online)












Government Documents






Monographs/Rare Materials














Updated: December 05, 2008     Contact Dept of  Collection Development    Collection Development Home Page