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Three days down…more to go

March 17, 2010

We have finished the third day of moving our library.    This is very hard work.    It’s physically and mentally exhausting.    Today I was cleaning cupboards going through historical files and boxes.  I discovered a treasure trove of documents in a metal lock box (unlocked, thank heavens) that I never knew was there.  In all these years, I’d never reached to the back of that high shelf.  I just knew there were items stored in that location that the previous director had felt important enough to save and I’d never sorted through it all.   I don’t know about you, but in my world something always takes priority over cleaning closets.  Today I sorted through everything.

Inside the lock box I found the paperwork from the house that was purchased in 1914 to make way for the library that was built in 1916.  (The house was eventually moved to Bluff Street and still exists today.)  It is hand signed by the homeowners.  I also found a bank book from that time and numerous documents related to the 1916 library.  I got goosebumps as I examined the historical documents marking the very beginning of our library at 102 E. Milwaukee Avenue.

Most of my discoveries are not that much fun.  Mostly I discover stuff that either has to be moved or thrown.   I never realized how much stuff we had.   Every time I look around there’s another cupboard to empty.

Each box that’s packed is then loaded onto a cart.  Every single book shelf has to be loaded to a cart so the bookshelf can be taken apart (if possible) and moved.  Kevin Becker of Yerges Van Liners told us that a fully loaded book cart weighs about 600 pounds.  (We were discussing our elevator’s weight capacity.)  A fully loaded book cart with non-fiction from the youth department feels even heavier than that.  Many of these carts are now lined up waiting for our elevator.  I used to think our elevator was pretty fast.  This week it’s seemed as if I could go take a nap while I’m waiting for the elevator to get back upstairs.  (Maybe I should.  I’m pretty tired after three days of this.)

But, oh my, do you think we could we have any better weather than this for mid-March?  And could we have a more helpful moving company or more dedicated staff and volunteer crew?  Or better treats from our Friends of the Library bakers?  I think not.

It’s too soon to know an official reopening date.  We have made enormous progress.  The fiction room is cleared out and all set up at the temporary library.  The children’s department is mostly empty too but only partially moved and set up.  The Internet came up at the other site without a hitch.  However, we have almost no computers or desks moved yet.  And still no working phone system.

Everybody is working hard.  It does take time; it’s an enormous undertaking. 

Onward to day four!

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