Re: Open shelving and classing of videos

Kristine R. Brancolini (
Thu, 8 Aug 1996 10:03:01 -0500 (EST)

We also have our videorecordings shelved behind a desk, but ours are
classified using the Library of Congress classification system. I really
don't see how you can have open shelving without classification. We use
accession number for our frontlog, but only as a temporary measure, and
it's a mess to keep in the correct order. Plus, no one can browse it.
While most users in an academic library will be looking for particular
videorecordings or using the online catalog to locate titles on a
particular subject, your recrational viewers will want to browse.

Even with the videorecordings behind a desk, we tattletape. However, we
tattletape the boxes not the videotapes. We lose very few tapes and
those we do lose are inside thefts. We are worried about theft if we
were to implement open shelving. We would also institute a reserve
system for tapes we need to keep behind the desk because of high use.

We also worry that students would take a big pile of tapes to their VCR
in the Media Center or pop them in their backpacks, just to be sure no
one else takes them. They wouldn't be walking through the security
gates, but the tapes would be unavailable in the meantime.

We have 6600 videocassettes and we are adding about 750 a year, so space
behind our desk is becoming cramped. Plus, we have no place to go. So
open shelving is a major question for us. I particularly want to hear
from any academic libraries that are using open shelving. Are you
shelving some high use or expensive tapes behind a desk, in addition to
your open stacks? Thanks!

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University Libraries