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The Stack Maintenance Department re-shelves books that have been checked out or used within the Library. We also "shelf read" the collection to ensure  accuracy and accessibility, as well as report library usage statistics.

During the average academic year, patrons enter the Library approximately 600,000 times, and more than 250,000 Library items are checked out.  Library materials are used within the building over 400,000 times.

During the academic year, student employees re-shelve the books during most hours the library is open.


Why do you have signs in the book stacks asking patrons not to re-shelve books?
A book that is shelved in the wrong location is inaccessible to patrons. For this reason we ask patrons to place books on the return shelves at the end of each row rather than re-shelving them. Note that five different classification systems are used in our library, and shelvers who are trained and accustomed to shelving library materials tend to be more accurate in shelving than casual browsers.

I left a pile of books I'd been using with a note on it asking that they not be re-shelved. When I came back the next day they were gone. Why?
If we see books left unused for more than two hours, our practice is to collect and re-shelve them. Otherwise, those materials might be unavailable to someone who needs to use them. If you need books held for you, bring them to the Circulation Desk and they can be held for you for 24 hours.

I needed a book the online catalog showed as "Not checked out" or "Checked in" but it was not on the shelf. Is there any way I could locate it?
You could look among the un-shelved books on book trucks in the area where the book belongs, i.e. near the main stairwell on the third floor for items in the main collection there (call numbers N through Z) or around the corner from the stairwell on the second floor for main collection items with call numbers A through M. Un-shelved periodicals are trucked in the area by the Periodicals office. Library materials on these trucks should be in call number sequence, giving you a chance  to find what you need. In addition, there is a chance your book has not yet gone upstairs from the Circulation Office. If you are still unable to locate your book, contact Circulation staff for assistance. Also, students, staff and faculty may contact the Circulation Department to have the item searched for. Generally, books are re-shelved within 72 hours, although during peak periods--especially at the end of each semester-- it can take longer.