Moving Stories: 800,000 Library Items Relocated to Oberschleißheim!

Moving Stories: 800,000 Library Items Relocated to Oberschleißheim! Packing, unpacking, ready to lend: 800,000 stack room items in Oberschleißheim are ready for issue again. Gérard Pleynet

Moving Stories: 800,000 Library Items Relocated to Oberschleißheim!

Picture shows man in truck
800,000 items securely packed and strapped together © Gérard Pleynet

A logistical masterpiece

Any book lovers who have ever moved house will be well aware that shifting boxes of books takes some muscle. After six months of hard work, the library team can give each other a well-earned round of applause: they’ve done it! They have filled three delivery trucks a day for the last 183 days with books and now the 800,000 items that they have relocated from the stack room are ready to be issued again to library users. Thousands of books, magazines and valuable special editions have been moved to secure temporary premises in Oberschleißheim so that the library can also be redesigned as part of the Gasteig renovation.

This logistical masterpiece would not have been possible without an ingenious solution: instead of handling each book individually, entire shelves were packed and loaded using carts in a range of sizes that were designed in-house. Our hard-working removal staff suspended more-or-less complete bookshelves in these bars on wheels, shrouded them with protective covers and used the lifts to move them from the four floors of the Gasteig stack room to delivery trucks in the underground car park, which then drove them to Oberschleißheim via the motorway. The rolling shelves were then unloaded again in Oberschleißheim and taken to the locations that were reserved for them. The stack room team worked with the removal company to handle the scheduled 360 metres of shelves every day, usually while the library was open to the public.

»We are delighted that the move went just as we planned it! We worked as part of a smooth team and thankfully everybody stayed healthy. The coronavirus may even have ensured that the streets were significantly emptier than we had expected, which meant that journey times were shorter.« (library manager Carolin Becker)

So, how will the system for borrowing items from Oberschleißheim operate?

We anticipate that people will be able to borrow items from the stack room at all branches of the Munich City Library from March onwards. When someone places an order, it will now take one to two days for the required items to be moved from Oberschleißheim to the library of their choice – this time in the opposite direction back to Munich.

Up-to-date information on ordering and availability of all items is available at

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