PROVO, Utah, October 4, 2013 Ė Backstage Library Works has completed a large-scale retrospective conversion project as part of the development of the new Library of Birmingham which opened on September 3, 2013, replacing the former Central Library.
The Library of Birmingham is a new state-of-the-art community hub that houses unique and rare items and includes a new home for the Shakespeare Memorial Room. The new Library is the largest public library in Europe and is a flagship project in the Birmingham City Council's redevelopment plans.
With a focus on improving access to its collections, the Library decided to convert items previously not visible via the online catalogue into a more accessible format. In 2010, Backstage began the first phase of its work by digitizing the card catalogue of nearly 600,000 entries. Once the cards were digitized, the images were sent back to Backstage's office in Provo, Utah where teams of data technicians matched these entries with existing electronic records and catalogued locally held information into MARC 21 records. The records produced accounted for nearly one-fourth of the Library of Birmingham's holdings, making these items available in the online catalogue for the first time.
Backstage worked with various collections across the Library, including a local history and genealogy collection and the internationally-important Birmingham Shakespeare Library, in addition to providing catalogue records for more than 23,000 pages of sheet music.
As part of its new operating model, the Library implemented improved RFID for self-serve checkout, and better security. Backstage began the second phase of the project in early 2012, converting items in the collection to RFID. Local Backstage technicians worked on-site at the old Birmingham Central Library to ready the items for their move to the Library of Birmingham. They applied and enabled RFID tags in nearly 900,000 items, applied smart barcodes to 500,000 items and cleaned the entire collection in preparation for the move.
Library of Birmingham business manager, David Stoke, states:
What I like about Backstage is their understanding of the business of libraries. We dealt with library professionals who managed our project with the knowledge about libraries that was needed to complete the project on time and under budget.
The Library of Birmingham can be found online at: www.libraryofbirmingham.com