We keep our collection of older periodicals in rolling stacks, as many libraries do. Each stack is about seven shelves tall, that means that only 1/7th of the shelves can be top shelves… Do you agree? Good.
How is it then, that most of the time I go in there to fetch a volume, the one I need is on a top shelf? A shelf that requires me to haul and manoeuvre step ladders round corners and between stacks? I say most of the time because it’s well over half, maybe even more than two thirds of the time. How can that be?
Impossible, you say? Exaggeration, you mutter? No. I have proof.
This very afternoon I went into those stacks looking for four different volumes – three of them were on the top shelves. 3 out of 4 – and that was only today!
As a very small librarian in a library of very tall shelves, I fear the Universe is mocking me…