We recently had a major renovation done in the most secure area of the library. It was about two years in the planning, with many stops and starts; we thought it might never happen, but then in August of 2013 we found out work would begin ... immediately.
This meant that the rare books and manuscripts we normally keep in that area would have to be temporarily relocated, and by definition the materials wouldn't be as secure as they had been. Oh, and we had to move everything in less than 24 hours. Did I mention my boss was out of town?
How, then, did we protect our extremely valuable, irreplaceable books and papers from theft or damage?
With an unreadable map, of course. Cleverly, using the highest-level coding skills, I created a map that only my staff and I could possibly understand. Or maybe just me.
Not the real map, but an approximation thereof:
See? You don't know where we put the good stuff, do you? But we do.
I'm thinking of writing an article about the experience. I'll title it "Best Practices in Rare Book Librarianship: The Unreadable Map as a Security Measure."