University Library Relocation Project

University Library Relocation Project


The university required the relocation of books and materials between the libraries at 2 London campuses. Edward Baden was awarded this project following a short tender process and subsequent meetings. The work took place in September and October 2014.

The project

The priority of the relocations was for the books to be transferred to their new locations and accurately integrated within the existing collection according to the Dewey Decimal System. All books had to be accounted for throughout the move, as students were still using the library and potentially required the books involved.

Several pre-move meetings took place to ensure that both parties were comfortable with the task and agreed methodologies, and that all potential issues had been addressed. Specialists were mobilised from Edward Baden’s team to control and supervise the integration of books. The Dewey Decimal System integration was managed by our archiving division, headed up by our archive manager.

Our teams used specially designed library trolleys, upon which we were able to replicate shelf sequences. Once filled up, each trolley was sealed with a hardwearing cover and Velcro edges. The team employed a labelling system to match trolleys with shelf locations, making the process as straightforward and efficient as possible. The trolley system also helped when retrieving individual books for students whilst the items were between locations.

Initially the project was pencilled in for a 4-day programme in September 2014, although this was left fairly flexible as it was not clear at that stage how many books were being moved, how many were going to be integrated and how many could go straight onto empty shelves.

It became clear as the work started to take place that extra days would be required, as almost all books required integration and there were more books than initially expected. We were able to provide flexibility and accommodate the extra work, bringing in additional cataloguing specialists to help with the process.

The initial work was for the movement of 400 linear metres of books between the two campuses. An additional 1,200 metres was required following completion of the first phase, and a further 1,270 metres to complete the reorganisation. Overall the work took 10 days and was completed accurately and with minimal disruption to the university.