There’s a hum of voices punctuated by laughter, the rumble of wheels, the thump of books landing on carts, the rustling of lists. It’s the library moving a collection of 230,000 items and all the stuff that goes with that and a staff of 80.
All this past week we have been loading books onto big wheeled plywood-shelved carts, carefully in order, checking off and labeling each cart on a well organized list. Each cart gets wrapped in a frightening quantity of plastic wrap, put in the Beltman Group North American Van Lines truck by their friendly and competent guys, and taken over to 700 New Hampshire, also known to us as Free Borders.
There it is off-loaded, and shelved by more hard working library staff, intensely making sure everything is in order and arranged evenly on the shelves. Director Brad can be heard doing math out loud to figure out (again) how many inches of books should be on each shelf if there are x number of carts of a certain subject section, and y amount of shelves. Aaron and Tom the IT team are all over, setting up the phones, WiFi, staff computers, public computers, self checks, and so much more.
Of course sandwiched in there is the need to dismantle just the right amount and type of shelving and get it over to the 700 building before the books can be shelved. And before that there were hours of running through lists of books to separate the ones to go in to the “accessible storage” building in East Lawrence, and those to go to the browse-able shelves at our temporary library. 700 New Hampshire will be our home for at least a year and a half, while the Vermont St. library is totally remodeled and enlarged.
Fortunately for Lawrence families, the entire Children’s collection has gone to 700NH, none into storage. It feels small, but it is all there: the easy readers, picture books, chapter books, DVDs, CDs, etc. We are on the west side of the building, with big windows and pleasant seating areas. There is an event room at the back where there will be storytimes and programs, starting in February. Check the website calendar, and we’ll see you in the new space!