When shifting books we typically allow for 5-8 years of growth, but you should always try to allow for as many years as possible. One way to go about this is to simply find out how much empty space you have and allow for the same amount on every shelf. If you do this, you should check with each of the subject selectors to find out if any of their subject areas are growing faster than expected. If they are, allow for more growth room in these areas.
A more precise way of determining the amount of space needed is by looking at the current shelf and noting how many inches of growth the shelf has had in the last 5 years. This is more difficult for books than it is for periodicals because all of the more recent volumes may not be together on the shelf. You can estimate the amount of growth by noting the average width of books on that shelf and then counting the number of new books from the past 5 years and multiplying. You should record these shelf by shelf as it will make your planning go more smoothly later in the process.
If you have chosen to use the more detailed space planning option above, use the form linked below for recording your space. The first two lines have been filled in as examples.
On this form, you are recording
The shift plan is a grid system. In each box of the grid, you write down the first call number and volume that will be housed on that shelf. You then follow in the next box with the first call number on that shelf. You continue this going from top to bottom, left to right. When you are done you should have one sheet per row for every row to be shifted. Shifting grids are linked below. Make sure to mark out boxes on the grid where structural columns are on the floors. If you forget to do this, then you will end up filling more shelves on the plan than exist on the floor.
You determine what call number will go on each shelf by measuring 35.5 inches and accounting for growth space. Therefore, you would measure 27 inches ideally for a shelf where you can leave 9 inches of growth space and there is no added growth space needed. When you have filled 27 inches, write down the first call number that falls after this as the first call number for the next shelf. If 5 extra inches of growth room are needed on the next shelf then measure out 22 inches and write the next books after that as the first of the next shelf, so on and so forth.
The process of making a shifting plan is very detailed and when you are done ANYONE should be able to determine where the books should be placed.
In general, it usually takes about 1.5 -2 hours to plan 2 rows of books on 12 x 7 rows. Usually, the most efficient way to do this is to go through and slightly pull out the books that will be the first on their shelf, then go through and write them all down. This is more efficient than pulling and writing at the same time and is also helpful if you have two people working on the plan at the same time.
This part of the process should require the least amount of thought. Once your shifting grid is complete you should be able to begin shifting. The key to starting this process is to figure out where the majority of your space is and start shifting on that end. If you start where you will run out of space quickly you will need to house some materials elsewhere while completing the shift on that section. Try to make sure that materials are displaced for the shortest amount of time possible. There is usually some point near the middle of every shift where books need to be placed on carts to wait for shelves to free up. Don't worry, this is normal.
As you go along it is sometimes helpful to go down a row and pull out the first book of each row slightly so that you do not have to consistently refer to the grid as you are actively moving books. Just make sure not to forget growth shelves where necessary!
One other quirk of shifting is the approximately 2 rows of extra space that appear towards the end of every shift. This is very common and do not feel that you planned poorly if this happens. No matter how well you plan this seems to happen to everyone. You should be happy that you have more space to work with rather than less! You should spread these extra shelves out as much as possible. In the most recent shift of the 4th floor (2008) we had 3 extra shelves per row to work with and these were placed on the top shelf about every 5 columns.
End Panel Labels
The last step (and a step that should be taken as you are going along) is making end panel labels so that is easy to identify what call number range is located down each aisle.