Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 1: Good Reference and Access Practices
Topic:Calling Collections

Calling Collections

Ideally, your historical records collections will not be directly accessible by users–in other words, users can’t just go to a shelf and pull what they are looking for. Instead, users should fill out a call slip and staff will retrieve the collection for them.

Call Slips

A call slip is just a simple form that users fill out in order to request that some particular material be called from the stacks and brought to them to use.

Users should have access to call slips in order to indicate to staff exactly what collections they want to look at. Call slips generally ask the user to provide:

  1. The unique collection number or call number, complete as given in finding aids or catalogs
  2. The particular box number(s), volume number, or other distinct unit of the collection being requested
  3. The author, or creator, of the collection
  4. The title of the collection
  5. User's name
  6. Today's date
  7. The number of the chair or table where the user is sitting, if your seating is numbered.

Call slips may also contain places for staff to make notes – such as noting the location of the requested materials in the storage space.

Call slip collage
Call slips come in all shapes and forms.

Example icon 

Click here to view a sample call slip with instructions for filling it out.