Open stacks in academic libraries

Bergman, Barbara J. (barbara.bergman@mnsu.edu)
Tue, 8 Oct 2002 09:20:13 -0700 (PDT)

Speaking of questions that have been asked and answered before...

The Library dean is suggesting that the videos be put in open stacks.
I am not personally opposed to the idea, but I'm not sure that there are
enough benefits in a collection who's first purpose is to support the
curriculum. And I know that there are those that would be against the
idea--both library staff and faculty.

Those of you who have switched to open stacks, I need some specifics
regarding the pros & cons of open stacks. Such as--
How much did circulation increase?
Have you experienced an increased loss rate?

The current situation:
Video and DVDs are in closed stacks. We allow browsing during the day.
On evenings and weekends, Circulation will retrieve videos, but patrons
can't browse.
Videos already circulate to all groups, so I'm looking only at changing
accessibility.
Videos are not currently tattletaped, so that would be an expense. (Kwik
Cases for all videos would be beyond our budget.)

(Having heard videolib tales of creative DVD thieves, I'm thinking that
the DVD collection is much safer staying in closed stacks regardless of
what we decide regarding the videos.)

Barb Bergman
Media Services Librarian
Minnesota State University-Mankato
(507) 389-5945