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Take a Leaf Out of Our Book 6 Tips For a Successful Library Move


In this digital age, books still play an important role. As librarians and curators, you’ll understand that whether books and documents are of historical value, are being retained for reference or provided for good old-fashioned reading enjoyment, they’ll need regular dusting, archiving or rearranging.

According to the National Preservation Office at The British Library, there are a number of risks that can be avoided by proper planning when it comes to moving a collection of books or documents. phs Teacrate’s 6 tips for a successful library move include:

1. Preparation

Appoint a Project Manager to liaise with all parties involved – internal and external – as far in advance as possible. Ascertain the number of items to be moved and/or the length of shelving that will be required to display the collection in its new or temporary home.

2. Engagement

Ensure that there are sufficient staff members, contractors or volunteers available to correctly pack and move the collection.

3. Equipment

Under the guidance of a Health & Safety Officer, provide ladders (if appropriate) and packing tables at the correct height. The British Library advises against using cardboard boxes which are not rigid enough to provide adequate protection for books and artefacts, especially if they become damp. phs Teacrate can help with the recommended plastic, lidded crates that are easy to stack, as well as handling equipment for easy manoeuvring. If books will need to be accessed during the time of removal, one of our library trolleys will be ideal.

4. Assessment

Inspect the building(s) involved for ease of movement: Are ramps in place for trolleys? Have lifts been serviced? This will help keep the books safe as well as avoid damage to the structure of the museum or library.

5. Take Full Advantage

Use the opportunity to clean and examine books as they are packed, and carry out on-the-spot repairs or make note for future attention.

6. Check and Re-check

When all items have been removed, check that no items (or parts of items) have fallen behind the shelves. Use labels or phs Teacrate’s barcoding system to keep track of all trolleys and crates, from start to successful finish.

If you have a library or museum project approaching, there’s no time like the present to start preparing. Get in touch with phs Teacrate to find out how we can help you to execute the perfect move.