The magnitude of maintenance work, like all other work in the library, depends on the size and complexity of the library and the quantum of operations. Decision regarding whether to have a separate maintenance section or not depends mainly on the intensity of operations. In small/medium sized libraries maintenance may be under the circulation section. Apart from the size; another contributory factors whether the library is open access or closed access. In a closed access library, shelving work is relatively less, while paging work is more. Paging involves the job of locating the requisitioned book on the shelf and bringing it from the shelf and giving it to the reader. This work of paging is an integral part of the circulation function' of a closed access library.
In open access, users quite often remove books from the shelves for browsing or consultations and they are not, as a rule, allowed to replace the books on the shelves as they are not likely to know the exact position. This task is invariably taken care of by the library staff. In an actively used library, this work may keep the staff continuously busy throughout the day, making shelving a major function.
It is a common practice to have a separate maintenance section/division with one or more assistant librarians in large libraries like university libraries. The number of junior staff needed for shelf work depends upon the size of the collection and the number of books circulated and the number of users. In larger libraries, having multistoried stacks, at least one shelf worker should be provided for each wing of the stacks.