Setting the Scene

Background

The University’s Library’s reshelving process was not as efficient as it could be. Many of those involved in the process were aware that other university libraries had a Lean approach to reshelving, and wanted to see if this would also work for them.

There were a number of problems with the original reshelving process:

  • Not enough reshelving trollies were available at peak times
  • Shelves become steadily less tidy as the term progresses
  • Student shelvers are not always available when required

Objectives

To develop a shelving process where books and DVDs are returned to the right space on the right shelf, and in the most efficient and timely manner

Concerns

  • Staff resistant to changes that may impact on them directly (e.g. changes to working times, duties, etc.)
  • The right staff may not be available when required

 

Outcomes

Process Improvements

  • Book return bins emptied every 15 minutes, and books placed on single trolley
  • Trolley emptied when full or max. three hours after first book placed on it
  • Trolley taken to appropriate floor, books shelved, and trolley returned to office

Quantitative Benefits

  • Items are now returned to the correct shelf within 12 hours

Qualitative Benefits

  • Increased communication between shelvers, student assistants, and other library staff/volunteers