Using StackMap with a Shrinking Physical Collection


Lots of libraries are reducing the size of their physical collections and relying more on digital books. We spoke to Kathy Broad and Susan Urban about the recent downsizing of OKCU Law Library, prompted by a move, and how StackMap helped make it a seamless transition.

Susan:Recently, we moved and downsized our collection. We started using StackMap during the transition from our old building to our new one.

Old Library

Kathy: Previously, on the main campus, the Law School and rest of the school were in two separate buildings.

Susan: Our old library was four floors and our new one is one floor.

New Library

Kathy: We moved into our new building two and a half years ago, in December of 2014. We needed to reduce our collection.

Susan: The new building doesn’t have as much space, so we got rid of items that we had digital duplicates of.

Kathy: Now we have about 60,000 volumes in our library. Not only did we reduce the collection, we also moved some items, previously separate, into the General Collection, like our legal reporters, popular reading, and the pro bono collection. Except for a handful of items on a lower level (DVD cases and microfiche and micro forms) our new library ona single floor is more spread out—it spans almost an entire city block.


Kathy: StackMap is the system we use to make it possible for students to find things throughout this large floor.

StackMap makes it easier for students and faculty to find materials, some of which had been in several different locations before.

Susan: We started moving the books to the new building a semester before the new library opened, so first year students weren’t familiar with how to use the library and some of our returning students had forgotten.

The move also created a situation in which many more of our students didn’t know how to use the library. Luckily StackMap makes it easy.

Everyone, including our staff, has had an easy time using StackMap. The person who spearheaded StackMap integration left so I took it over during implementation and another library assistant maintains the ranges.

When we add new collections, I’ll update StackMap and one of the library assistants does our shifting. It’s been easy to share the responsibility.

— Susan Urban & Kathryn Broad, Oklahoma City University School of Law