Measurement-foo and shelf-fill rate help?
November 30, 2004 9:03 AM Subscribe
See a librarian’s brain asplode*! So my library is moving back into our building next summer. We have some 8,400 linear feet of bound serials* being moved into 15,500 linear feet of compact shelving*. We need to tell the mover what we want our fill rate* to be. Sounds easy, right? However, there are complications, horrible complications
posted by robocop is bleeding to grab bag (15 answers total)
Asplode – explode painfully
Serials – mainly journals that have been collected and bound together into volumes
Compact shelving – moveable shelving that slides to open or close aisles as needed
Fill rate – the percentage of the shelf that is filled by books. Ideally, you don’t want to go over 80% because it makes shelving new items difficult.
Each serial shelf unit is five shelves in height. Each shelf has 11.5 inches between it and the one above it.
Each shelf is roughly three feet wide.
Some volumes are either too tall or too deep for the shelf. Tall items require that a shelf be pulled from the shelf unit to increase the 11.5 inch clearance. This will decrease the number of shelves in the shelf unit. Some items are too long to fit on the shelf, so when the compact shelving is closed, they would jam against the opposite shelf. To make space, a shelf must be pulled from the shelf unit behind the one with the long item in order to keep the spines flush. Some volumes are both too long and too tall for the standard shelf unit.
For the sake of this puzzle, let’s assume that we can not create a separate section for serials who are too large for the shelf. While my library does have a Folio section that would likely take all the items that are both too tall and too long, it is in the best interests of accessibility to keep all the serials together. Besides, these volumes are collections of bound issues of a journal title and must be kept together. However, one thing journal publishers love to do almost as much as change their journal’s titles is change the size of their journals. So a serial title could have 20 volumes, of which only 1 is oversized. We can’t pull that lone volume out, and we can’t pull out the entire title.
There are 405 linear feet of oversized items in the collection. 23 feet of them are too long, 290 feet worth are too tall, and 92 feet are both too long and too tall. They are not necessarily all next to each other, although some are. Each single oversized item can cost anywhere from 3 to 9 extra feet worth of shelf space as shelves above, behind, or above and behind it are removed. I have an inventory of all the oversized items.
This collection grows roughly 400-450 feet per year. The oversized elements of this collection grow only 14 feet per year. We are hoping for 10 years minimum worth of growth space with an ideal of 15-20.
If we give a fill rate that is too low, causing there to be books left but no shelf space, days are lost as we shift and the entire move schedule is out of whack. If we give a fill rate that is too high, we cost ourselves growth space that has to be justified to the school. Either way, it’s a “Very Bad Thing.”
I figure I need to produce a pretty detailed shelf map of what the stacks should look like once the movers finish. However, outside of trial and error, I have no idea how to produce this map.
The Questions (finally!):
Does a computer program exist that can perform this mapping for me? If not, how hard would it be to code said program?
If computers can not help us, what other method would you recommend for producing this sort of map/plan?
Am I doomed and should I start eating bugs now?