13% of Library of Congress Materials Are Missing

Inventory control is a huge issue no matter the size of your library.  But if your library is one the world's largest research institutions with 135 million items in its collection, the problems of the typical library get multiplied at an exponential rate. 

According to the article linked to above, the Library of Congress has a huge amount of materials missing – not necessarily stolen or lost but simply misplaced. 

Investigators
for the congressional library have told lawmakers on a House oversight
committee that its review of the retrieval system for the general
collection concluded that a 17 percent of materials requested could not
be found.

“A subsequent review found 4 percent were either on
nearby shelves, checked out to the public or marked with the wrong call
numbers. But it remains deeply troubling that nearly 13 percent are
unaccounted for by library officials,” said Howard Gantman, staff
director of the joint congressional committee on the library.

This article provides great insight into library management (in the physical sense, not the personnel sense) and I'd recommend that any library lovers out there give it a read. 

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