It is a strange week in collection services. There has been a lot less movement of library materials but something else is missing. Noise. There is a noticeable quietness. A lack of keyboards and mice clicking away. This is the week the Library’s ILS (integrated library system) is in read-only mode while upgrades are being made. What does that mean for the Law Library? It means the system is accessible, but we cannot input or update any records in the ILS databases. The OPAC (online public access catalog) remains operational, allowing patrons and staff to search the collections and request materials from the stacks using paper call slips.
I have been looking forward to this week since it was first announced to staff several months ago. As I think many of my fellow librarians have experienced, there always seems to be more work around the library than one can accomplish. Having a week in which records cannot be created or updated and serials cannot be checked in, frees up a lot of time for those many tasks that have been pushed aside for “when I have time.”
Besides blogging, some of the bigger jobs we have identified for completion this week are:
- Expand the overflow area in the stacks for subject material on South America, Europe, and Eurasia
- Conduct an inventory of Records and Briefs from Federal Appellate Circuit Courts
- Physical count of the Law Library Reading Room
- Survey of our legal gazette collection and submit claims for missing issues
A colleague asked me about the overflow project. More specifically, what is overflow, and why we do we have an area for it? Well, granted we have over one and one-half football fields of compact shelving and an offsite shelving facility, we are still short of space in some areas. This shifting/expansion project will make it easier to find, retrieve, and shelve books in these subject areas.
I think the project that staff is having the most fun with, however, is the physical count of the reading room collection. While we have a nearly exact count of the collection in our Global Legal Resource Room (GLRR), we do not have one for the main Law Library Reading Room. The latter collection should be three to four times the size of the GLRR one, but we would like to have a more accurate number. A friendly competition has been created for Law Library staff to guess the number of books. The technicians doing the count have been disqualified from entering for obvious reasons, but many of us have ventured a guess. If you have ever visited the reading room or would like to make a guess based on some of the blog posts you have read, please join in!
The new upgrades to the ILS should be fully installed by close of business Friday. We will all be happy to be back to business as usual, but I will enjoy this change of pace while it lasts.