Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Move January 13, 2007


We sure didn’t have much money, and we couldn’t afford our own building. But when we heard that the former church, built in 1997, was for sale, we thought of the potential that was there. Our present location left a lot to be desired. It was a historic building, to be sure, built in 1902, with an intact opera house in the second floor. However, our library occupied too small a space for the population we serve, the heating and air conditioning needed to be upgraded, and it was not accessible. We had worked with a library building consultant and an architect to draw up a building plan for renovation of the building, which would include enlargement of the library. But we never could come up with enough money to do the work.

So, the former church sure looked like the answer. Our former location was actually a community center, and the village officials bought the church with the idea that it would be the new community center, including the library. And we have enough money set aside that we can afford to do what we need to do in the new location.

Once the plan was approved, we had serious work to do. To move a library, you need to plan and organize. You need people, time, boxes, tape, markers, scissors, muscles, and cameras to record the progress. Our board president and our director began about nine weeks ahead of the move, planning and organizing. Others pitched in as they were able. We were assisted for several days by a relative from Kentucky. Three heads are better than two, especially when two are sisters. We weeded out one fourth of the collection and set those books aside for a sale. We went through every object in the library, and almost every paper in every file cabinet, threw out magazines and catalogs, put older books in storage, putting unwanted items for that upcoming garage sale.

Each shelf, file cabinet, piece of furniture and unboxed item was labeled with color coded sticky labels as to where it was to go in the new location. Boxes were appropriately labeled as to room number, number of shelf or spinner and starting and ending authors or titles in the box.

The night before the move, we closed the library two hours early. The board members, directors and others spend five hours packing up the remaining collection and other items.

The volunteer fire department volunteered, or was volunteered, to move us the half mile to the new location. The husband of one board member was able to secure a furniture van. Boxes came from everywhere – the local grocery store, a moving business, and several board members who were present or former business owners. Local businesses provided food, which was served by the Girl Scouts.

Moving day, January 13, 2007, was damp, with a forecast of an ice storm. Thankfully, it was nothing worse than light rain. The movers started by 9 a.m. and had everything out to the new location by 11:30. We had as many community members helping us reshelve as we had space for them to work. By 4:30, everything was shelved and ready for a Monday opening.

Much remains to be done, and we will be moving again, once our permanent location in the building is ready for us. But then, we will only have to move down the hall.

This move brought out the best in some of the residents of Homer. Not everyone who helped us uses the library on a regular basis, but they recognize the value of the library to the community as a whole.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Our Upcoming Move

Weather permitting, the Homer Library will close January 12 at 5 p.m. to pack up. The move will take place Saturday, January 13. We plan to reopen Monday, January 15 at the normal time of 2 p.m. To make this happen, we are asking those who are familiar with the Dewey Decimal System and are good at alphabetizing to help us reshelve materials on Saturday evening.

Because some confusion will result, we are suspending fines for one week, from Saturday, January 13 to Saturday January 20. That will be a good time to return those overdue books and other materials, no matter when you checked them out. Fines will again begin to accrue on January 22.