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Dear LM netters:

I got two more responses:

I had to pack up my 12,000 volume library and move everything out for
re-carpeting a few years ago, and I didn't use boxes at all.  We looked into
the cost of boxes, and then disposal of them afterwards, etc, and I came up
with a better idea.

I first labelled all bookstacks A-N ( we have 14 runs of shelving), then
went through and labeled each shelf of books with the letter and a number.
For example, the first row of fiction shelves was A, and the individual
shelves were A1-A32.  The shelf itself was labelled, and I also put a
sticker with the same number on the frame where the shelf belonged.  Our
custodial department bought 6 rolls of wide cellophane wrap through the
cafeteria people.  Then, we worked in teams of 3 people.  Two people would
lift each shelf full of books off the bookcase, holding the books upright.
They would set it on a tall stool, while the third person wrapped the books
right to the shelf with the cellophane.  Boxcutters were used to cut the
wrap, and the labelled shelves were stacked on dollies.  We emptied a
classroom of desks and put long tables around the perimeter of the room.
Wrapped shelves were stacked 2-3 high under tables on the floor, as well
as on top of the tables.  My whole library fit in the one classroom!  Then,
the empty bookcases were moved out into the halls, and the room was
recarpeted.  The bookcases were put back, and then the real beauty of this
plan emerged.  When a worker grabbed a wrapped shelf of books labelled E22,
for example, he knew exactly which bookcase and where it belonged.
Boxcutters were carefully used to slash the plastic wrap, the shelf was
replaced, and voila.  We had one big trash bag of plastic wrap to dispose
of, and that was it.


1. It helps if the boxes are labeled on all four sides with the range they

2. Try packing the collection from the end forwards, and the boxes stored in
order as they are done. Then the  last boxes packed and stored will have the
first books to be unpacked, and you will be able to re-shelve forwards in
Dewey order.

3. Whatever amount of time you think you will need, make sure allocate
yourself some extra. Something always goes wrong, and if it doesn't it's
better to be able to say "hey, we're opening a week earlier than expected"
than to have to say "we're opening a week later than expected."

4. Allow some time for cleaning the new facility before unpacking.

5. Count how many shelf-feet you're using now, and go in and check out the
new place before unpacking book one. Estimate what will fit where. This
prevents too much moving of books back and forth after you've unpacked them
to make room or fill in blank spaces.

6. Don't forget that you will need to pack all your supplies as well. And
make sure to backup all yourdata and have multiple copies in different
locations if possible.

7. Lists Are Your Friends.

8. Before a major move is a great time to finally do a really thorough
weeding. Why pack and move all those books that you don't have to?

9. Love Your Volunteers. And throw them a party when everything's done.

Amy Huang, Librarian
Notre Dame High School
596 S. Second St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 294-1113

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