At the beginning, the decision was made to keep the library open during the entire re-carpeting project. We looked at circulation statistics as well as what information is most readily available online, to decide which books would be most useful and which could be packed away temporarily.
The city rented a gigantic pod which is parked in front of the building, and staff and volunteers spent days packing and numbering boxes of books to go into it. Books to be kept out have been moved 2 or 3 or more times, as we try to stay a section ahead of the carpeters. This means a lot of sore bodies, chapped hands, and broken fingernails. It's 106 outside, so even with our AC working hard, we are hot and we stinketh.
We are keeping a good attitude, joking about the ever-expanding meaning of that line about "and all other duties as required". Most of our patrons are very understanding, and happy that there are still at least some books and computers available. They compare the ever-changing routes through the library to the local grocery chain's marketing techniques, and take finding the DVDs as a weekly challenge.
|Some even pitch in and help!|
But, then there are the patrons who stand in the middle of the library and loudly complain, or those who grumble just loudly enough to make sure we hear them, that we should just be closed.
Okay, I get it. Really. It's hot, so you are already feeling out of sorts. You have ten other errands to run, and this was supposed to be a quick stop. Maybe you like knowing what you are doing, and were comfortable with the library as it was, and suddenly you feel like you have entered a foreign country. Maybe you're used to heading towards a certain shelf for your favorites each time, and now today that shelf doesn't even exist. Change is hard for some people. Even librarians - you don't hear some of the meltdowns that happen behind the scenes, but trust me, we've had some doozies!
The thing is, there is only so much we can do. You can't rip old carpet up and put new carpet down without taking everything off the floor. When I was in high school, and our city library was remodeled, the entire collection was moved to a different building for a year. We did not have that option (and, let me tell you, the move back was a nightmare I don't ever want to repeat!), so all we can do is box and shift and move and move again.
In the meantime, we're trying to make sure you can still get to where you need to go,
and we're putting things back together as fast as we can,
while still trying to keep everyone safe.
We'll provide as many services as we humanly can, and if the walking is too much I'll personally go grab your book for you. Closing completely, so nobody gets any services at all? Not on the agenda.