Closed Stacks Policy


The purposes of the Closed Stacks collection are:

  • to protect especially expensive materials that cannot easily be replaced, especially limited editions of sets, scarce or significant first editions, and specially autographed copies.
  • to house the few materials that due to their size (10 cm. and under and very large folios) and format cannot be shelved in the Book Stacks.
  • to protect unique materials with loose or easily removed parts that would lose their usefulness without these parts.
  • to protect long runs of journals whose value is highly dependent on the print copy and which lose value in other formats.
  • to maintain one copy of the books receiving the Newbery and Caldecott medals.
  • to house all materials published prior to 1800 that have been reviewed and approved for Closed Stacks

The following factors ALONE do not qualify an item for inclusion in Closed Stacks:

  • fragility
  • sexual or anatomical content, including illustrations
  • price
  • loose parts such as CDs or CD-ROMs
  • inflammatory rhetorical content


The Closed Stacks collection is located in a locked, caged area on the third floor of the Main Building . All materials in the collections bear “Closed Stacks Ask at Circulation” in the Location field of the online catalog.

Adding Materials to the closed stacks

Anyone may request that a title be added to or removed from Closed Stacks. All requests will be reviewed by the appropriate liaison and either the Special Collections Librarian or the Assistant Director for Collection Management and a decision made by them.

Procedures for Requesting that Material be Added to or Removed from Closed Stacks

  • Request forms are held in the offices of both the Head of Special Collections and the Assistant Director for Collection Management, and in both the Acquisitions and Circulation departments. A copy is also in the Reference share folder online.
  • Completed forms are given to either the Head of Special Collections or the Assistant Director for Collection Management.
  • The Head of Special Collections or the Assistant Director for Collection Management will confer with the appropriate subject liaison for input on the request.
  • If there is any conflict, the Head of Special Collections, the subject liaison, the requestor, and the Assistant Director for Collection Management will confer for resolution.
  • Upon approval, the form and the material will be forwarded to the appropriate person in the Cataloging Unit for addition or transfer.
  • Upon denial, the form will be returned to the requestor with reasons for the decision and the material will be returned to its appropriate location.

Circulating status

All items are Building Use Only, including not being available for Interlibrary Loan.

List of Materials in closed stacks

The online catalog report component can produce a list of all titles with the location Closed Stacks. All materials in Closed Stacks are cataloged.

Retrieval of materials from closed stacks

Retrieval of materials from Closed Stacks is the responsibility of staff in the Circulation Department.

Requestors need to go to the Check Out Desk and fill out a form for the materials needed. Staff will then retrieve the material(s) from the Closed Stacks, check a picture ID to match the picture with the form the requestor submitted, and hold the form until the requestor returns the material. For requestors without a valid UNCG ID, a driver's license or driver's license substitute will be held with the request card. (UNCG affiliates need only to show their valid ID.)

Materials from Closed Stacks must be used in the ROI Department except when they are being photocopied. The implication is that someone may be observing them; in addition, the area is quite public. In essence, the honor system will be in effect, since staff in Circulation cannot accompany the requestor to Reference and staff in Reference cannot provide surveillance.

If an item indicates that staff should check for certain parts when material is returned, they should do that before the requestor leaves, if possible

Keys to closed stacks

Keys to Closed Stacks are kept at the Check Out Desk, in Special Collections, in the Administrative Office and in the Catalog Department. Only persons who work in the library should have access to the keys.

Review of Policy

This policy shall be reviewed by the Collection Management Committee every five years or more frequently if necessary.

Adopted by Collection Management Committee 4/16/2003