Behind - the - Scenes Sections
Collections Maintenance Section
The Collections Maintenance Section became a part of the division
as a result of the 1978 reorganization. Prior to joining the division,
the section was under the direction of the Preservation Office,
where its primary functions were to clean, treat and shift the Library's
various collections. Although these activities are still performed,
the overall duties and responsibilities of the Section have increased
significantly. It has as its mission to achieve and sustain a high
level of maintenance and care of the general and special collections
of the Library, regardless of custodial division. With its unique
role of responsibility in various custodial divisions, the staff
is provided with the opportunity to work with material in a variety
of formats, such as maps, prints and photographs, video tapes, manuscripts,
sheet music and microfilm. Some of the Section's major responsibities
- Relocating large segments of the Library's general and special
- Shelfreading on an ongoing basis to facilitate the retrievability
of the collections.
- Surveying the growth and utilization of space in the General
- Servicing and maintaining the collections stored at the Landover
and Ft. Meade off-site facilities.
- Erecting shelving units.
- Playing a major role in the Library's collections security initiative
by erecting security cages and installing theft detection devices
in individual items.
Collections Improvement Section
The Collections Improvement Section was established as an element
of the 1978 reorganization. The major impetus for its formation
was the determination that a significant portion of NOS reports
was caused by bibliographic errors and lack of inventory control.
For example, volumes could not be located for patrons because they
had been mislabeled, or had incomplete or illegible labels; because
they were shelved in alternate locations such as the folio shelves
or in reference collections; or because they had been converted
to microformat. For correction, all of these problems would require
a piece-by-piece comparison of items on the shelves with their respective
bibliographic records. In short, an inventory of the General Collections
was required. Some of the Section's major responsibities include:
- Identifying and resolving relatively straightforward problems
within the general collections such as faulty labels and unrecorded
- Preparing several types of shelfmarkers to stand on the shelves
in lieu of absent volumes. These markers provide information regarding
an alternate location for an item, whether it be in a reference
collection, on folio shelves or on microfilm. Markers may also
give notice that the item has been removed for some remedial action,
such as rebinding, or that the item is determined to be missing
as of a certain date.
- Placing small, pamphlet-style items in acid-free envelopes for
- Recently, the staff in this Section have become heavily involved
in the work to prepare General Collections items for eventual
transfer to the Library's planned high density storage facility
in Ft. Meade, MD.
The Delivery Unit is responsible for delivering materials for Congress
to a CRS contract
Team for several scheduled daily deliveries. The three-person team
is also responsible for delivering and picking up materials from
various custodial divisions throughout the Library. Special pick
ups are made by requests. Delivery staff is primarily responsible
for discharging all materials returned by the Library which can
average between 350-500 volumes per day.