About the Book Banner

Jumbled Book Banner, 2010

Jumbled Book Banner, 2011

About the new banner.  To put your fears at rest (or not), these books really are in a jumbled pile and are sitting outside in the sun.  In fact, they’re in a very large dumpster with thousands of other journals.  But don’t worry–they are supposed to be there!

During the summer of 2010, my library withdrew 15-20,000 journal volumes.  I can’t remember the exact number off the top of my head, but it was an incredible amount which equates to thousands of linear feet.  It was sad to see them go, but we have digital copies of these journals as part of the JSTOR collection, and were in desperate need of space.  We also have a library policy (paraphrased) that says we’re to avoid duplication as much as possible.

Library staff spent weeks prepping the withdrawn journals, identifying appropriate journals, talking with faculty that would be affected by this withdrawn items, organizing volunteers, pulling journals from shelves & placing them on book carts (we used every available book cart in our building & had them stacked & ready to go for the Big Day).

The Big Day came, and a large dumpster was deposited in the middle of the campus parking lot instead of right in front of our library building. The reason for putting the dumpster in the middle of the parking lot was that it was the easiest spot to leave & pick up the dumpster.  I wasn’t sure if it was to be a little more subtle about the project (lessen the likelihood of people asking why the library’s putting a ton of journals in a dumpster), but the dumpster was so large that it was impossible to miss.

All library staff for the most part were on deck, ready to help. We also had a large crew from our facilities department with two small motorized carts to help.  We filled both of the motorized vehicles to the point of almost blowing tires, then took the journals out to the dumpster to be pitched.

It took all morning during that hot summer day, but we filled the gigantic dumpster. The problem was that we were only half way done!  We had thousands of volumes left to discard.  So we got another gigantic dumpster the following day, and repeated the process with even more people involved.

Overall, the entire process went very smoothly.  We only had one journal series that were accidentally removed.  Those were eventually found half way under the mound of journals in the dumpster and quickly restored to their rightful place on the shelves.  There were also a number of people who were dumpster diving for the old classic.

After many hours of moving books (what a workout!), we began the long process of shifting journals.  This took a week to complete even with shifts of people working together.  I took pictures throughout the entire project–it’s not every day you see thousands of journals in a dumpster!

Feel free to use these images.  I just ask that you don’t sell these photos though and to cite them; you got them from the Library Shop Talk blog.  Thank you and enjoy the photos!


Journal Mound 1

Journal Mound 2

Red Book Spine in Day Light



Books in the Blue Sky

Loaded Book Carts

The Dumpster

Yellow Electric Cart

Journal Stacks Before Removal

The Stacks

After Removal




About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on April 6, 2011, in Libraries and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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