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Changes in NLM Stack Retrieval Hours

In June NLM began a pilot project to reduce stack retrieval hours in NLM’s Main Reading Room.   At that time we changed our retrieval schedule from an all-day service to a split schedule offering two periods of retrieval:

  • 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (last retrieval requests accepted at noon) and;
  • 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (last retrieval requests accepted at 4:00 pm)

We also reduced the staffing at the Circulation Desk in the middle of the day.  Our pilot ran on Mondays and Fridays throughout the summer months.  Staff held regular informal discussions with Reading Room patrons to ensure that the changes had minimal negative effect on them.  Opening and closing hours, access to online resources, photocopy, printing and registration assistance and Reference Desk hours – all remained unchanged.  These changes only effect the Main Reading Room, not NLM’s History of Medicine Reading Room.

I’m pleased to report that our new schedule had not had an adverse impact on patrons and it has allowed our staff to balance reduced demand for stack retrieval with staffing levels.  Effective September 4, 2012, we will permanently extend the new schedule to all weekdays.

A summary of the changes is found at:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/bookretrieval.html.  This information is also linked from our visitors’ pages and from our OPAC, LocatorPlus:  http://www.locatorplus.gov.  Please keep these changes in mind when you refer any of your patrons to NLM.  We enthusiastically welcome their visit – and we want to ensure their time here is productive.

Deirdre Clarkin

Head, Collection Access Section

National Library of Medicine

8600 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, MD  20894

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