All items in the Penn State University Libraries' collections have one, and only one, place to be shelved.
The Collection Maintenance Unit maintains the collections in the Pattee and Paterno Libraries and assists the University Park Branch Libraries with their collections as needed. More than 30 miles of collections are housed in the Pattee and Paterno Libraries alone.
The overarching goal of collection maintenance is to make sure that the collections can be accessed by all patrons with the greatest possible ease. Whether a piece of material is new, has been used in-house, or has circulated outside of the Libraries, the Collection Maintenance Unit will have handled it as some point.
Included in the responsibilities of the Collection Maintenance Unit are shelf reading; shifting materials; wayfinding, and responding to problems affecting the availabily of the collections, such as disaster recovery.
Most materials are organized by the Library of Congress classification system, but large amounts of materials are also organized using the Superintendent of Document and Educational Cutter systems. These systems place a vast amount of material into a framework that makes the collections manageable for University Libraries patrons.