Re: Request for Information (Open Vs. Closed Stacks)

laroi.lawton (
Tue, 9 Oct 2001 06:20:33 -0700 (PDT)

Prof. Farrelly:
I don't think that the vast majority of participants to this listserv go
out of their way to create barriers in the routine access of materials, be
it print or non-print. I for one do not have the kind of budget that allows
for multiple copies of any title, let alone the kind of shelving space that
would be conducive to open shelf browsing for our entire college community.
Self checkout is a dream come true but my experience has shown me that there
are problems that will arise. Theft, miss-shelving, etc. Any collection,
private or public will be subjected to loss whether it is minor or major.
The point was what works best for individual environments. As much as I
would like to go "public" all the way, I do not have that kind of luxury. My
budget for materials, equipment and staff is such that at any given moment,
I am told I have substantial funds only to be told, a week later the funds
are gone. This does not work well with vendors- and we deal with alot of
them. We alleviate this access problem with longer hours of operation by
having four late nights and weekend schedules. We are open six days a week.
This debate for those of us with "closed shelving" areas will go on for some
time-because of other issues: budgeting, staffing, shelving equipment to
properly display the items, checkout policies, assuming that any online
circulation is set up in a manner that allows for flexibility with the
college community at large. Many of us are already automated but here in New
York, many Instructors
bust a gasket when they receive fines for overdue items. It's as if the fact
that they are teaching gives them the right to avoid paying a fine that
would ordinarily not be avoided by a student. Size of your collection,
budget, staffing, and the ability to do what Prof. Farrelly does at Arizona
State would be nice but even on a small level
I fear that many items would not be returned. I am glad to see that there
are several places across the country that have open access to all patrons
in an academic environment. Hopefully, with this continued discussion
throughout this listserv and others like, we can collectively come up with
some definitive ideas on how to implement this concept. Let's not condemn
those of us who for varied reasons cannot implement open access for specific

LaRoi Lawton, Director/Asst. Prof.
Gerald S. Lieblich Learning Resource Center
Library & Learning Resources Dept.
Bronx, New York 10453
----- Original Message -----
From: "Deg Farrelly" <>
To: "Multiple recipients of list" <>
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2001 10:35 PM
Subject: RE: Request for Information (Open Vs. Closed Stacks)

> This same question was raised and discussed at some length almost exactly
> year ago. I am disappointed to see that once again all of the responses
> the question have been in regard to (and advocating) closed stacks.
> At ASU West Library we shelve our videos on open stacks, albeit in special
> high density compact shelving.
> Furthermore, students, faculty, and local community all have borrowing
> privileges allowing videos to be removed from the premises. (Community
> borrowers are limited to 3 days, University folks one week)
> We maintain separate closed stacks for those items that faculty wish to
> place on Reserve, or that we consider irreplaceable.
> Do we lose materials? Yes, some. Do the videos get out of order? Yes,
> somewhat.
> But we replace items when necessary, and shelfread regularly. And the
> access is HIGHLY appreciated by our borrowers.
> We also offer self-checkout, and allow faculty to order journal articles
> their own directly from Ingenta (UnCover) paid for from a deposit account.
> We are committed to eliminating barriers requiring staff mediation in
> routine access to materials.
> I do not mean to sound pontifical or arrogant here.... BUT here are some
> questions for those who maintain closed video stacks:
> Do you lose books in your collection? Do the books in your collection get
> out of order? Why not put ALL your materials in closed stacks?
> (That is how the Chicago Public Library operated when I was in High
> And finally.... What could your staff be doing with their time, if they
> weren't retrieving materials?
> I would love to hear responses from other academic libraries/media centers
> that maintain open stacks for videos.
> deg farrelly, Associate Librarian
> Media/Communications Studies/Women's Studies
> Arizona State University West
> P.O. Box 37100
> Phoenix, Arizona 85069-7100
> Phone: 602.543.8522
> Email:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Hornbeck, Patty <>
> > To: Multiple recipients of list <>
> > Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 10:02 AM
> > Subject: Request for Information
> >
> >
> > > Dear Videolibbers,
> > > This is an urgent request for information/opinions on open stack v.
> > closed
> > > stack storage of videos in an academic library. If you have pros and
> > cons
> > > that you can share with me, I would really appreciate it.=20
> > > Patty
> > > _________________________________
> > > Patricia Hornbeck
> > > Middlebury College
> > > Sunderland Language Center
> > > Middlebury, VT 05753
> > >
> > > (802)443-2268 phone
> > > (802)443-2075 fax
> > > Email: