Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 6. 1965.
Let Us Compare..
Let Us Compare...
On March 9, 1965, the new Otago University Library opened for full service to Otago students. After careful planning that started almost one year ago, 190,000 to 200,000 books were shifted from the old to the new library in about three weeks.
The new library, with its 250,000 volume capacity, was opened with little inconvenience to Otago's students.
So efficient was the planning that the move was started on February 15 and the changeover was completed by March 9 enabling Otago students to use the new library from the very beginning of term. Approximately 20 people were employed in the move—four library staff members who were placed at key points. and 15 students who helped transport the books two blocks away to the new building. As soon as the new building was near enough to completion on the 15th the library staff began to erect the shelving and books were shifted immediately, as the shelving and moving was dovetailed.
Although the shift was only in progress for the first week of the Otago term, all students could still get the books issued that they needed. While there were still books in the old library, students could have these issued at the circulation desk. Even books that had been transferred to the new library could be borrowed if the student needed a certain book. If this happened then a member of the staff would get the book from the new building. Mr. McEldowney said the students co-operated well and the demand on books was small during this first week. To avoid the stopping of the library service the circulation desk was shifted to the new library during the weekend of March 6 and 7.
The actual move of the books was accomplished by placing all the books into 300-400 specially constructed two-foot long cardboard boxes. Each box corresponded to a shelf in the library. When filled, each box was numbered according to the shelf's place, alphabetically and positionally in the library. In such a way whole sections were transported over to the new library ready to be reshelved just as they had been in the old library. This simple method of keeping whole sections of the library together at all times meant that nobody was able to lose track of any box or books.
Otago's old library is similar to Vic's old library, being on the first floor, so Otago librarians were faced with similar problems of transportation. They ordered a roller conveyor and slides (the Council asked if "swings" were wanted, too) to get the books down to ground level. The boxes were stacked on to pallets and by the use of forklift trucks they were loaded and unloaded on to trucks.
It is a tribute to Mr. McEldowney and his staff that Otago University Library change-over was done so quickly, efficiently, and with such little inconvenience to the members of the University.
—F. D. Finlayson.