Sheila white library
Before christmas, myself and Ulriika were asked by a colleague to help him sort out the Sheila White Library. This is a great resource for the faculty and students of Ancient History at Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion (SHARE). It was originally started as a resource for the Classics Department at the then University College Cardiff, if the arms on the sign on the door is anything to go by, and is named after a former member of faculty who bequeathed the fund to start the library. As the department over the time since then has shifted from Classics to Ancient History, there are a number of works in the collection that seem less relevant, along with some now much outdated works that show the historiographical development of the field. Nonetheless it is a great source for works which are often in short supply in the Arts and Social Sciences Library, and a much visit for research.
It had, however, been rather unloved over the last year or two it seems, with no-one having ownership over it. When that happens, inevitably entropy sets in, and small acts over time accumulate into one library in serious need of a sort out. And that's what we did. Over the course of a day, we three took a section each and reshelved nearly every single book, finding such a number of them either in the wrong section or not in alphabetical order. I even took a little opportunity to fill in some gaps by turning some of the prettier books so the covers were showing, like they do in book shops. Not expecting them to stay like that of course, just as a little flourish when we were finished.
Josh showed us the stamping and recording cards for the books, the stamping being surprisingly satisfying, thwumping down on the pages. The recording process is robust but could do with some serious bringing up to date: really the whole room could do with a day with a barcode reader to create a digital record system: I just haven't worked that out yet. I did however take a moment to scan in one of the book stamps and tweak it to create a nice little logo for use on any signage (above and below), hopefully adding a bit of authority to the pleas to put books back in the right order. Though of course I doubt it!
(Disclaimer: We were kindly repaid by Josh for our efforts in pizza. Ok, that's more of a boast.)