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Tools for the Rubenstein Move: An Ode to Post-It Notes

Preparing the Rubenstein Library holdings for the move requires the coordination of different departments completing different sets of tasks, sometimes in a specific sequence.  For example, first our conservation team will go through a range of books and check their condition to see if they need any extra attention before moving. Next, our holdings management team comes through and looks for missing barcodes and checks the records of our titles.  Lastly, students and staff come through and load volumes into trays that are moving offsite. So, how do we coordinate and communicate the efforts of all these different groups?

Three words:  color-coded post-it notes.

Conservation has tended to flag their efforts with yellow notes, holdings management uses blue, and everyone uses hot pink as signal that something is 100% “ready to move.” In some parts of the stacks, yellow post-its are also used to signal a manuscript box that needs to be reviewed for padding. Also, book-traying teams use post-it notes to signal where they have left off on sealing Tyvek envelopes or duplicating barcodes in preparation for loading books into trays.

We have other tools for tracking more preparation efforts, such as spreadsheets and access databases. The post-it note system is just as effective as these more sophisticated tools. Post-it notes are easy to understand, easy to update, do not require the use of technology, and are easy to access by people in different departments. Although we really rely on technology to make this move happen, it is nice to know that we can also rely on good old-fashioned paper tools.

Plus our stacks are now very colorful, which makes for some lovely photos. Check out lots of pictures of the renovation on Flickr!

Post contributed by Molly Bragg, Collections Move Coordinator in Rubenstein Technical Services.