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Managing the Collections (Collections Access, Loan and Management Division)
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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 include:

  • Relocating large segments of the Library's general and special collections.
  • Shelfreading on an ongoing basis to facilitate the retrievability of the collections.
  • Surveying the growth and utilization of space in the General Collections.
  • 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 alternate locations.
  • 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 their protection.
  • 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.

Delivery Unit

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.

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  July 22, 2010
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