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Stack Management-Marston Science Library

  How to Shelve a Book               How Not to Shelve a Book


To properly shelve books, a few rules need to be followed:

  1. Check call numbers around the items being shelved to verify the shelf is in order.
  2. Items should be upright and shelves should be adjusted to the proper height for the items they house. If one or two items are too tall to stand upright, shelve them on their spines with the call number label facing out.
  3. Items with call number labels that cannot be read should be given to the Stack Management Supervisor or placed on the labeling shelf behind Circulation.
  4. Items should be brought out to the edges of the shelves to make even, neat rows (called blocking.)
  5. Each shelf should have a bookend at the end of the row.
  6. Watch for crowded shelves. If an item will not slide back into its place with a gentle push, the shelf is too full. The proper method to remove an item is to push in the volumes on either side of it, then carefully grasp the center of the spine and remove it (not by pulling from the top of the spine.)
  7. Items with damage (mold, mildew, insect, or tears on/to covers, pages, etc.) should be given to a supervisor. Check for sufficient air space behind the items on the shelves to allow for proper circulation of air. Remove bits of paper, post-its and paper clips.
  8. Any loose papers or library items left at the end of each shelf or on the floor should be picked up. If an area is kept tidy, users will tend to leave it that way.
  9. Refer any problems or questions to a supervisor -- DO NOT GUESS!

Here is a link to a game created by Carnegie Mellon to test your shelving skills.

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