Good News!

Bulletin from the Librarian

Stock in the Library

Information for Members

The library team and I have been busy reorganizing the stock in library since the removal of the internal scaffolding in December 2016. Having taken this decision after discussion with the collections working group and library committee the thinking was to bring the historical sections into one sequence. Prior to the move subject sections were located across both the galleries and the inner and outer libraries.

What has been achieved?

  • The historical collection, books published before 1950 and identified by a shelf letter are now in one long run which starts at letter A in the outer library. Letters G, the travel books to letter N natural sciences are now located in the outer gallery.
  • The exception is letter H which is still to be found in the inner library.

What has happened and what else is happening?

  • The local periodicals have been listed and stored in clearly labelled boxes.
  • The “Adopt a Book” Scheme has been launched and ten books have already been “adopted” by members.
  • In response to member requests “Private Eye” and “Apollo Magazine” have been added to the choice of journals to read.
  • The Saturday papers are available.
  • The book preservation team are tackling the worst two areas of the inner library, bays 48 and 49.
  • Items stuck behind books have been unearthed.
  • A collection of materials relating to the Cinema Club has been found and passed to Tony Rhodes.
  • A subscription to the London Library has been purchased giving access to numerous online databases including 19th century British newspapers.
  • The Microfilm/scanner enables members to use the microfilm collection of newspapers.

The shelving system

Many members have asked me to explain the library classification system. The answer is that the historical letter is designated by letters. The Dewey system that members may be familiar with from the public library was not devised until 1876.

The local books are a version of Dewey, a combination of letters and numbers.

The modern history section and the Pevsner guide books have a further classification sequence.

What next?

  • The journals and periodicals will be put in one alphabetical sequence. At the moment some are found with the subject and others are not. They are scattered across the inner and outer galleries often double banked or hidden in cupboards.
  • The intention is to bring as many runs as possible down to the inner library.
  • The Illustrated London News, Punch and The Builder are already downstairs.

Why is this important?

  • Much of the stock is double banked which makes it inaccessible and compromises the air circulation.
  • Areas of the stock are covered in mould, again due to lack of air circulation.
  • Space for expansion is non-existent. This clearly is not a viable position.

How is space being found?

  • Duplicate local studies stock is being placed for sale. The team check that the original copy is on the shelves and if I decide that one copy is sufficient the second copy is put for sale.
  • The aim is to maximise income the for the DEI and for this reason the best copy is retained.
  • The sale price is determined after checking ABE books. This is why not all books on the sale trolley are 50p or £1.00p.

Which books are withdrawn from stock?

We cannot keep everything that we already have and keep adding more.

  • I am working to the stock policy, which was agreed by the Executive in July 2016. Copies have been available in both the inner and outer libraries for members to read since this date.
  • Since the 1970’s the acquisition policy has been to purchase materials relating to Exeter, Devon and South West. This logically should have included offers of bequests and donations but I suspect that has not been the case.
  • If stock falling outside of these criteria is kept then we are in danger of further deterioration. There is a need to weed out stock.
  • Before any items are put on the trolley they are checked for relevance within the current stock policy, value against ABE books and if a second copy is needed.
  • The historical collection is not included in this process.

If you have any questions please ask. I am usually in Monday to Wednesday and on some Saturdays. Clare is in on Thursdays, Fridays and alternate Saturdays.

Anne Howard