Re: Open stacks in academic libraries

Francis C Poole (fpoole@UDel.Edu)
Tue, 8 Oct 2002 10:58:42 -0700 (PDT)

Barb: I can't tell whether you schedule videos for faculty for
instructional support which is what we do. Our video collection is in a
closed stack area, accessible only by media staff. Films and videos are
scheduled in advance for classroom showings, research, and other
authorized programmatic functions. We do let undergrads borrow videos if
they have a faculty member book it in their name. Many of our videos are
very expensive and many are difficult to replace. We are now looking at
purchasing Gemtrak moveable video shelving as our present way of shelving
on book-type shelves is a great waste of space. The moveable shelving
offers greater protection for the videos. We have a media viewing
area so that anyone with a university ID card can come and watch videos in
the collection. I don't think we would ever put our collection in open
stacks. We have found that videos require constant attention, inspection,
repair, cleaning, and othr maintenance. If our collection was dispersed
I'm afraid we would lose our ability to maintain it. Hope you hear from
others as this is an interesting question. Francis Poole, U of Delaware

On Tue, 8 Oct 2002, Bergman, Barbara J. wrote:

> 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