Mansfield Student Handbook: Shelf Maintenance

Handbook for the student assistants of the Bromfield Library & Information Commons. Includes topics ranging from checking out a book to calling off sick.

Shelf Reading

Shelf reading is one of the most important jobs in the library and must be done frequently.

The purpose of shelf reading is to ensure items are shelved correctly and to verify that books from other libraries are not on our shelves. As the saying goes, books shelved incorrectly are as good as lost.

  • Use the Digital Library Assistant (DLA) for shelf reading. For more information on how to use the DLA, see the Shelf Maintenance section of this student guide
  • Aim to complete your assigned section each semester
  • Straighten the books and make sure they are flush with the edge of the shelf as you go; this prevents the DLA from misreading items and also makes the stacks neat and organized.
  • Use the Swiffer Duster to dust the books and shelves (if needed).
  • Record the section you have read in the shelf reading logs so that you know where to begin the next time you work.Be accurate with your shelf reading and the record log.  Staff members review the logs on a regular basis.
  • As a time estimate, it will take about 15-20 minutes to properly read 6 full shelves of books (one section top to bottom).

Keeping Shelves Tidy


A few notes on shelving…

  • Shelving should be done on a daily basis
  • Please keep shelves looking neat. See the "Tidy Shelves" guide for more details
  • If a book is shelved out of order, it is as good as lost. Take the time to make sure an item is shelved correctly. But no pressure :)
  • Re-shelve books and magazines that have been placed on the wooden carts, or left elsewhere through the library
  • Make sure to look three places to the left and and three to the right of the book filed
  • Put books in order before filing to save time