Case Study: House Call at Washington & Jefferson

The prospect of a major reclassification project can trigger a migraine in the most organized of librarians.

Alexis Rittenberger, Director of Library Services at Washington & Jefferson College's U. Grant Miller Library, nearly developed the telltale malaise as she looked at coordinating a conversion from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress Classification in 2008. Then, while searching for a cost-effective solution, she called on an expert in library ailments: Backstage Library Works. Headache problem solved.

"We needed to pull, label, and reshelve thousands of books as quickly as possible to keep our collection in circulation. Completing the task with only our own employees would have drained needed resources, but we were concerned about how temporary staffers would treat our books. Backstage Library Works was the perfect solution for us," Rittenberger acknowledges. "Their staff was a great fit: well-managed, friendly, and best of all, they knew their way around a library!"

After consulting with library staff, Backstage formulated a plan for reclassifying and relocating the entire collection. Then a trained Backstage crew — specialists in book handling, labeling, and shelving — took over. The collection's 120,000 titles were processed in just four months.

"We were pleasantly surprised with how quickly and efficiently Backstage handled this project," Rittenberger recalls. "The project was completed on time, and our titles were sorted accurately. Choosing Backstage proved a real savings, both in money and in stress!"

In addition to reclassification projects, Backstage crews can perform a variety of services on-location. Libraries looking to conserve time and employee resources can choose to delegate projects such as RFID tagging and collection weeding to Backstage. These services allow library staff to devote more time to patron relations and to other important projects.

Backstage also provides options for libraries concerned about transporting collections for digitization, retrospective conversion, and cataloging. Scanning archival materials and card catalogs on-site minimizes the time that items are unavailable for use, while cutting out the risk of loss or damage in transit.

"We understand the problems that many libraries face," explains John Merrill, president of Backstage. "We really want to do whatever it takes to make a library run smoothly and take the stress out of the process. Your concerns may be budget and time constraints, lack of equipment and expertise, or simply the need for an extra pair of hands. We can help with all that and more — we'll even take the trash out if that's what needs to be done! Backstage prides itself on the ability of its knowledgeable, flexible staff to find a way to master any project."

For more information on Backstage Library Works' on-site services, please call us at 1.800.288.1265 or use our contact form.