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Key Considerations for Library Relocations

Sep 28. 2021

No matter whether it’s a university library with extensive collections of academic publications or a small community library; a library move is very involved and needs to be executed with order and precision to ensure that no matter how many books are moved, all are protected and reinstated in the required order.

If the move is across campus or to an entirely different site or new building, each move will present a different set of requirements, but there are commonalities in the movement of libraries. Here are a few key considerations, if your organisation has a move on the horizon:

  • Plan, plan and plan some more

As with many moves, the devil is in the detail when it comes to a library relocation. Factor in pre-move planning meetings amongst colleagues and those involved. The more extensive the planning, the least disruption it will cause to service provision and users.

  • Communicate

Library staff, academic staff and users will need to be updated about the changes in location and time frame for the relocation. Academic staff and students, in particular, will want to know in advance plan in case it affects their work and studies and whether they will need to put other measures in place ie arranging inter-library loans etc whilst collections are relocated.

  • De-clutter

As with many office moves, a move always opens up the opportunity to de-clutter and re-organise. It’s a good time to put unwanted furniture, equipment and even publications to another use. Speak to your removal company as they will be able to offer help on disposing of items responsibly through donations to charitable causes and recycling/ reusing initiatives.

  • Experience is key

From paperbacks which need to be packed carefully to protect the spines, to rare books and documents which need specialist handling, ensure that your remover is fully aware of the types of items they will be handling so that they can employ the appropriate packing techniques.

  • It’s not just books

If you require IT equipment, shelving systems and photocopiers etc to be moved, bear in mind that if the photocopying equipment is leased, you’ll need to liaise with the company leasing it as they may need to move it themselves as per their agreement with you. It’s important to check this out in the planning stages.

  • Safe keeping

The relocation may not involve the seamless movement of collections and equipment from one location straight into their new home. It maybe that some need to be housed in storage for a period of time. Speak to your moving company on this issue as they should be able to arrange water-tight, secure storage.

  • Following the system

Moving companies with experience of relocating libraries will have experience of sequential packing and labelling systems used, be this Dewey, Binary or Congress indexing. Again, liaise with your chosen remover on the type of system to use and on how many linear metres will be moved each day and the expected time frame of your move.

  • Budget

Be advised that, whilst operating within the requirements of a budget, the cheapest option is not always the best choice. It’s really important to choose the moving company who gives you the greatest confidence in their capabilities to move your collections and equipment safely and securely.

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