• Library Shelf
    When your collection can't travel,
    On-Site Services
    Backstage can come to you!

Welcome Backstage


Perhaps your project can't be brought to us. That's okay, we'll come to you. Backstage Library Works has experienced project managers ready to travel to your location and ensure that access to your materials is at its peak. Our menu of on-site services includes inventory, reclassification, RFID implementation, digitization, cataloging, and microfilming.

Each on-site project is unique, so we begin with a project profile and often a site visit from a Backstage project manager. During this visit, we discuss your needs and collaborate with you to identify spaces, materials, and equipment that will be involved in the project. We may also gather sample data from your collection. We then create a detailed plan for accomplishing your project goals.

A qualified Backstage project manager hires, trains, and supervises a team of technicians to carry out the plan. We report to you on progress, schedule updates, and the results of our ongoing quality assurance monitoring. You can rest easy, knowing that everything is running smoothly. You’ll be amazed at what a dedicated on-site team can accomplish.

Backstage has been sending crews on-site for years. We've digitized, microfilmed, cataloged, reclassified, inventoried, and placed RFID tags for millions of items on three continents.

Our background-checked, drug-tested, on-site staff can help you complete your project from initial assessment to technology setup, to handling and processing materials, to final data reconciliation.

We keep you informed every step of the way. With regular updates and reports, calls and meetings, and channels to field a question or escalate a concern, you'll always know how your project is progressing.

Inventory Plus

Collection Management

Many libraries haven't performed a full inventory of their collections in more than a decade. After all, who has the time? As part of your assessment and collection management plan, Backstage can take on the daunting task of inventorying your collections.

Because we specialize in serving the unique needs of libraries, we offer a wide range of additional services for expanding your inventory project—the plus in inventory plus, if you will—to accomplish more of your collection management goals.


The root of an inventory plus project is, of course, the inventory. We load your catalog database into our our inventory software. Then our team of technicians methodically checks each and every item in your collection to make sure it’s accounted for. As each book is scanned, a digital time stamp is created, confirming that the item is accounted for. We generate reports that can help you assess the health of your collection. These reports can include missing items, items physically present but not logged in your database, items placed in the wrong location, and much more.

Along the way, we can also verify that the catalog data accurately corresponds to each physical item and its labels by comparing match points such as title and call number, or any other information you want to confirm.



During an inventory, we usually find items that are not properly barcoded and connected to records in your catalog. Labels can be worn or missing. New acquisitions may have been placed in circulation without full processing. Duplicate barcodes may turn up. Catalog data may have minor numerical errors. In an inventory plus project, we can take time to replace missing labels and link those identifiers to your catalog.

Brief Record Creation

Some items may be on your shelves that aren't found in your catalog. As most patrons find materials through search, these items are essentially invisible. Under the direction of experienced catalogers, our on-site teams can gather essential information from the item in hand, create a brief bibliographic record, and link it to the item's barcode.


Full Cataloging

If a brief record isn't sufficient and your catalogers are already working at capacity, we can send the brief records our on-site crews create to metadata teams in our offices for copy cataloging or original cataloging in any language.

Other Services

An inventory doesn't need to stop with accounting for items on the shelf and records in the catalog. Some popular additions to an inventory plus project include:

  • Placing or Verifying RFID Tags
  • Labeling or Relabeling
  • Rehousing
  • Reshelving, Interfiling, or Separating Collections
  • Moving
  • Reclassification
  • Weeding
  • Cleaning Materials and Shelves
  • Preparing Materials for Digitization

Need something else done? Tell us what you want to accomplish, and we'll create a project plan just for you.



A New Call Number in Every Record, on Every Book

Has your collection outgrown its classification system? Do you have materials organized in a locally created schema, an outdated version of Dewey Decimal, or an abbreviated rendition of Library of Congress classification? Whatever your reason for changing, the process involves two parts: first, reclassifying the data, then relabeling and reshelving the physical collection.

Data Reclassification

Reclassifying your catalog is the methodical process of finding and applying a correct new classmark to each record in your database. This starts with an automated process, matching your titles with records in other databases to retrieve verifiable call numbers in the new system. This process economically locates call numbers for a significant portion of most collections. For the remaining records, where matches are not found, our catalogers can add a human touch, searching for a match or manually assigning the new classmarks. Once your entire catalog has been processed, we run final quality checks to identify duplicates or missed records, then we return the data to you for upload.

Data reclassification
Technician applies and confirms labels

Physical Reclassification

With the data sorted out, it's time to place a new spine label on each item in the collection, then move it to its new location in your stacks. This is where things get a bit tricky. The most important part of executing a physical reclassification is planning. Considerations include deciding where to start, identifying what swing space is available to temporarily hold displaced materials, verifying that labels are properly placed on the correct items, updating the catalog and library staff so patrons can continue to find the items they need during the project, and running everything in an efficient and orderly manner.

Backstage has reclassified tens of millions of items in libraries large and small over the course of more than a decade. Our expert project managers take care of all the planning and execution for you. With our triple-check method—verifying the barcode, title, and old classmark against the bibliographic record and the data on the new label—you can be sure we won't miss a thing.

RFID Tagging

On-Site Implementation for Your Entire Collection

Example RFID Tag

RFID systems promise gains in efficiency and privacy at checkout, the potential for automated sorting on returns, and advantages in security and collection management. But your new RFID system doesn't function until every book, every media case, every item in your collection has a tag in place and properly encoded. Backstage crews can tag your collection quickly and encode labels accurately without requiring your staff to leave their day jobs or your library to close its doors during implementation. We work efficiently, quietly, and unobtrusively to get the job done whether you have a collection of 100,000 books in a single location or millions of items spread across multiple branches.

On-Site Digitization

Our Studio at Your Location

Digitizing Onsite

Do you have a collection to digitize that can't be sent out? We're prepared to bring digital imaging to your doorstep.

At Backstage, we don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything. We recognize that a digitization project means dealing with your special collections, and we know they're called special for a reason.

We'll collaborate with you, crafting an on-site project plan to meet the requirements of your materials, your institutional policies, your timeframes, and your budget.

We've brought in equipment and personnel for short-term engagements to process a specific collection. For other projects, we've set up semi-permanent digitization studios to manage ongoing workflows.

Regardless of the scale and scope of your plans, we're committed to producing the archival quality digital images that your special collections deserve.



Metadata Capture and Creation

An Onsite Cataloging Team

Whether your special collections include rare books that need to be cataloged, maps, photographs, or Tibetan scrolls, if the materials can't travel, we can come to you.

Our skilled catalogers can create original MARC records, finding aids, or other descriptive metadata to fit your specifications. We can build metadata as simple or as rich as you'd like, operating with item-in-hand at your institution or creating digital surrogates of key pages on-site for catalogers in our offices to reference in creating your records.


On-Site Microfilming

Preservation Ensures Future Access

Microfilm Camera

Preservation microfilm is by far the best medium available today for securing the content of your collections far into the future.

When your materials can't travel to us, we can bring a camera and technician to you. Your on-site studio is supported by the expertise and resources involved in the highest quality microfilming projects.

With the same Herrmann and Kraemer optics, ExpoSure™ control system, and custom media cradles that we maintain in our preservation studios, you'll see Backstage quality in every frame.


Lifetime Guarantee

At Backstage, we stand behind our work with a guarantee that has no expiration date. Quality is the foundation of our success, and we're confident enough in our ability to do things right the first time that we're willing to stand behind our work forever. Our promise here is very simple:

We will correct to the client’s satisfaction, and at our expense, any problem with our services, no matter when such a problem comes to light.

Contact Backstage

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