ALA Library Fact Sheet 14
The American Library Association (ALA) is often asked for the names, addresses, and phone numbers of companies that assist in the moving and relocation of libraries. The ALA does not endorse products or companies. Neither can the ALA refer anyone to a specific company, as this would necessarily preclude naming other companies whose products are as good (or better) than the one named. The resources listed below will direct you to companies best suited to your needs and geographic limitations.
Use the link below to access the list of library movers and moving companies in the American Libraries Buyers Guide; those companies which regularly exhibit at our conferences are so indicated:
More detailed information about how to move libraries can be found in the following sources. See also the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Moving Libraries and Archives: A Selected Bibliography, an Adobe Reader PDF document adapted from this page.
A list of books on moving libraries that may be more readily available from your local public and/or community college library than your local bookstore appears at the free, searchable online database of library catalogs from across the country, OCLC's WorldCat.org, at:
Moving Libraries at WorldCat.org
Fortriede, Steven Carl. Moving Your Library: Getting the Collection from Here to There. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. NOTE: The ALA Online Store provides a PDF excerpt from the book, which includes the book's table of contents, its index, and the full text of chapter 3, "Selecting A Method," which begins:
Early in the planning process, you must decide how you are going to transport your books. Detailed instructions for each method are included in later chapters. Here I provide a general overview to help you make your initial decisions. At various times I have used five different methods to move library materials: stack movers, human chains, boxes, book carts, and move carts. The first two have specific, limited uses...
Habich, Elizabeth. Moving Library Collections. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
Newman, John and Walter Jones. Moving Archives: The Experiences of Eleven Archivists. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002.
Atkins, Stephanie S. and Jennifer Hain Teper. "A Survey of Library Practices in Planning and Managing Temporary Moves." Collection Management 30, no. 4 (May 2007): 59-84.
Bagley, Elizabeth L. "Re-Building a Learning Community...or What to Do When You Face a Library Move." Georgia Library Quarterly 40, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 4-10.
Baumann, Kari. "Using a Transition Team to Facilitate Library Building Moves." Colorado Libraries 32, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 13-17.
Bridges, J. "Moving a Hospital Library." Medical Reference Services Quarterly 28, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 77-87.
Brinkman, Carol S. and Stephen W. Whiteside. "Planning and Space Calculation for Shifting a Journal Collection." Kentucky Libraries 66, no. 1 (Winter 2002): 12-17.
Bruns, Adam. "Moving Day: An Exercise in Mind and Matter." American Libraries 30, no. 4 (April 1999): 48-50.
Bryant, Darcel A. "The Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library: The Howard University Move Experience." Journal of the Medical Library Association 92, no. 2 (Apr. 2004): 251-6.
Burkhardt, Joanna M. "Do's and Don'ts for Moving a Small Academic Library: Fourteen Helpful Tips." College and Research Libraries News 59, no. 7 (July/August 1998): 499-503.
Cappell, Shirien. Moving Library Collections: Planning Shifts of Library Collections. University of Oregon Libraries (website). Last Modified: 09/20/2006.
Cash, Derek. "Moving a Library Collection." Public Library Quarterly 20, no. 4 (2001): 17-29.
Dimenstein, Catherine. "Executing A Library Move: A Planned Approach to Moving Your Library." Information Outlook 8, no. 1 (January 2004): 37-38, 41-42.
Donovan, Georgie and John P. Abbott. "Moving a Library Collection to New Quarters: Lessons Learned." Charleston Conference Proceedings 2006. Katina Strauch, series editor; edited by Beth R. Bernhardt, Tim Daniels, and Kim Steinle. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
Fowles, Charlotte M.. "When Your Mission Changes: Heave Ho! It's Time to Reevaluate and Move the Collection." Collection Management 29, no. 1 (September 2004): 43-55.
Gwin, Quanta. "Q&A: Have You Ever Wondered? Survey on Moving Libraries and Collections." Arkansas Libraries 58, issue 1 (February 2001): 18-19.
Johnson, Donna, Caitlin Kennedy and Usha Gupta. "A Do-It-Yourself Model: Relocation of a 36,000 Volume Chemistry Library In Three Months." Arkansas Libraries 61, no. 3 (Fall 2004): 16-18.
Merrill-Oldham, Jan. General Specifications for Moving and Cleaning Library Materials (PDF). HUL Weissman Preservation Center, Library Preservation At Harvard (website). The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007. Last Modified: August 31, 2009.
Minter, Sydney. "On Your Mark, Get Set, Move!" Library Media Connection 25, no. 7 (May 2007): 44-46.
Murray, Jennifer S. "How to Survive a Library Move: Control the Move Instead of It Controlling You (PDF)." AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) Spectrum 10, no. 1 (September/October 2005): 18-19.
Nelson, Walter. "Getting a Move On: Some Thoughts on Moving a Library Collection." Searcher 18, no. 6 (July/August 2010): 8-11, 50.
Pikul, Diane M. "Moving Libraries and Shifting Collections." Catholic Library World 76, no. 3 (March 2006): 212-215.
Schwartz, Joanne. "'Pack Up All Your Cares...'" School Librarian's Workshop 24, no. 10 (June 2004): 4-5.
Smith, Debbi A. "Creating Stack Floor Plans and Signage: Excel as a Collection Management Tool." Technical Services Quarterly 24, no. 3 (July 2007): 29-39.
Snow, Richard. "How Not to Move a Library: Misadventures in Moving." Collection Management 29, no. 2 (May 2005): 53-67.
Tunstall, Patricia. "Let's Move: How To Move Your Collections Without Hiring Movers (And Without Spending A Fortune!). The Unabashed Librarian No. 120 (2001): 8-13.
Wyatt, Quanta. "Q & A: Moving Libraries." Arkansas Libraries 58, issue 3 (June 2001): 22-23.
Materials listed in this fact sheet that are published by the American Library Association are available through the ALA Online Store.
For all other materials, contact the publishers directly, or check the collection at your local public library.
Last updated: October 2010
For more information on this or other fact sheets, contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.