Library Info

October 2008 - Posts

Where are our manners?

It isn't that we weren't brought up correctly.  Our mothers did teach us what to do when expecting visitors: arrange the furniture in a welcoming manner, have comfortable seating available, put away your toys and crafts, and, for heaven's sake--dust!



Though we don't appear to have paid attention, we really were listening to Mom all along.  Now that the remodeling is done, we are addressing matters of courtesy.  We are replacing supplies into de-cluttered storage spaces so that we can locate and replace printing materials quickly; relocating music CDs for more convenient browsing; streamlining the tops of service desks so that you can see library staff more easily--that sort of thing.  And about that dusting: it's definitely on our list.

See all Library renovation photos in our Flickr set

On Monday, November 3, our first day of re-opening, we will be offering guided tours of the library every hour on the hour from 10:00am - 6:00pm.  We hope that you can join one of these tours and that you'll enjoy the changes and enhancements created with you in mind.  Mom would be proud!


The Renovation Wrap-Up Scramble

Well, renovation is officially complete, and there are only three working days left (including today) before we re-open. What better way to celebrate than with a new dance!  We call it the Renovation Wrap-up Scramble. Here we see David Sharp mid-groove.

He'll have to do this dance a few more times if these shelves are to be out of sight by the time we re-open.  

Later today, we plan on playing some musical chairs,

but instead of the music stopping and finding yourself without a seat, in our version, as long as the music is playing, chairs will be going back to where they are supposed to be.

And it's not just chairs and shelves that make good dancing partners.  We've got a multitude of choices to pick from.  There are computer cables, tables, paperwork, desk drawers, books, book carts...oh, the list is long.

Essentially, the next three days will be a matter of just working hard to get the library back into order.

You've heard of "gray areas"...

...and we have a few of those in the library right now.  These are spaces that are technically finished--sort of.  The new checkin area is more or less complete, because the walls are done.  However, no work surfaces or carts have been set up.  The upstairs public area has classy new paint and floor coverings, but the shelving is incomplete, and the tables that held now-shelved books have yet to be put away.  The reference desk is being totally reorganized so looks awful at this point, and functionality is a couple of days away.  The new librarians' office appears move-in ready but isn't due to the need for finalizing connectivity needs.  And of course all the furniture and all those supplies that aren't in their proper places are currently in, well, improper places.



We're in the home stretch now, anxious to finish projects, move into the last of the new workspaces, and gear up for the library's re-opening a week from now. 

  See all Library renovation photos in our Flickr set

And now for some semblance of order...

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, folks!


And we've got the pictures to prove it.

With just 11 days left before that target date of November 3rd, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor and the labor of the construction workers. Here we see more of the results from the construction side of things because they're easier to show.




There is still a decent amount of stuff to get in order, but things are beginning to take shape. Hooray!

See you soon...

The only constant in life is change.

Today saw the children's area beginning to come into its own and looking sharp.

The stairs are now lined with anti-slip rubber material. The side trim is being applied today.  

From left to right we see Candy, Rebecca, and David busy developing strategies to more efficiently allocate our staff resources.

All in a day's work!

Hope y'all had a good one.

It's not a mess; it's art!

Compared to the isolated areas of completed flooring, sparkling new paint, and just-put-back-together order, the messy parts of the renovation seem even more regrettable.  This may be our most challenging phase, so we just look around and say kindly that the place definitely has potential.

I surveyed some projects still in progress, looking for spots for beauty.  Finding visual treats wasn't difficult.  In fact, some items look downright artistic when viewed from the proper angle.  With apologies to Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, and a host of other artists, we'll call this collection "Library Motifs":



And if we were exhibiting this pose of an office window removed from the hallway, we'd have to title it "Window to Nowhere".


          See all Library renovation photos in our Flickr set


What a Colorful Day!

The man in the red plaid shirt is squatting next to the red chair to install the red shelves in the colorful new Teen Room. In other words, now that the carpet has been put down, J.D. can prepare the shelves where the books will be found. 


The white electrical socket hangs from the white ceiling in anticipation of its new surroundings. In other words, the old circulation area has been completely stripped and this little guy is all that is left...

for the moment.

Just beyond the blue tape the man in the blue shirt is laying the blue carpet. In other words, carpeting in the children's area is under way! What a colorful day, I say!

Eat your heart out, Jenny Craig

Remember the old library circulation counter?  It ranged over a sizable portion of first floor and encompassed checkin and checkout processes, along with many, many bookcarts.  Now that the new checkin area has been constructed, the counter is downsizing.  The rest of us only wish that we could achieve a leaner, trimmer silhouette this quickly.


Speaking of cosmetic changes, the wall surrounding the checkin area should be receiving its surface and paint before long.  Before all is said and done, the slots you'll use to return your materials will be framed and finished.  Looking through one of them today, you can see not only the rough edges remaining but also a hint of the activity behind the wall.


Only a couple of weeks remain, and we hope you've been watching our progress and are looking forward to seeing the updated and re-purposed library space in November.  We promise that the new version of the counter will be standing upright and looking good by then.  In the meantime, just keep track of that library card so that it and you will ready for our re-opening! 


See all Library renovation photos in our Flickr set

"To do" list for Week 4

As the third week of renovation concludes, second floor is largely complete; at least, it's carpeted, painted, and tiled.  Projects remaining on the upper floor include finishing the librarians' office and continuing work on the combined Reference and Circulating collection.  It's a wonderful concept but not a task that's quickly or easily accomplished.


First floor is another story (no pun intended).  Large areas remain to be carpeted, tiled, and painted, after which shelving will be lugged back into place and thousands of books re-shelved. 


As the computer training room (far left, above) awaits new carpeting, its furniture and equipment have taken up temporary residence in Meeting Room A (below).  We're not certain whether these items are huddling together for comfort or just getting organized, but we'll all be happy when they're restored to their updated quarters and ready to welcome the public again.


See all Library renovation photos in our Flickr set


And now for something completely different...

Construction over the past 24 hours has produced subtle (but not photogenic) alterations to the building. On the other hand, the camera has caught library staffers in change-producing mode.

Patrons will notice right away that separate Reference and Circulating areas no longer exist. If, for example, you are searching for books with facts and statistics about fast food consumption in the United States, you no longer need to browse for books that can be checked out in the circulating section and books that will have great data that you can photocopy (but not check out) in the Reference section. You will just go to whichever call number you choose--perhaps 614.5 or 394.1--and find both materials that check out and ones that don't shelved together for your convenience. Geeta is shown applying labels to the Reference books, and we see David adjusting shelves to fit the new arrangement. What the photos don't portray is the fact that these scenes will be repeated hundreds of times before the merging project is finished--and that other staffers are working right along with them.

Other behind-the-scenes activities include the ongoing processes of ordering materials and keeping the library in touch with the public. Barbara has just sent in a large order for new fiction books that should arrive in time for the library's re-opening. With most phones still not in working order, Dora uses her trusty walkie-talkie to track down library personnel needed to answer questions from our patrons or from other staff.

And while we're waiting to spy the next before-and-after change, some self-improvements are underway. Pat and Geeta scored 100% on the self-paced Genealogy Tour to learn about the library's genealogy collection. All public services staff will complete the course; next time you need a jump start with your family history project, anyone at the desk will be able to point you in the right direction!

Halfway there, folks!

With carpeting finished on the second floor and well underway on the first, it appears at this point that we're on schedule for that November 3rd re-opening. Of course, anything can happen in the next few weeks and we'll know better by the end of next week, but right now it's looking good.

Here's a quick recap of what's been done so far.  During the first two weeks of closure, we've carpeted the entire second floor and the meeting rooms in the back on the first floor. The hallway leading to the meeting rooms and the downstairs bathrooms have had new flooring installed. The new check-in area has been constructed on the first floor as well.

The check-in area does still need to be floated, taped, and painted.  Carpeting on the first floor started yesterday but should go pretty fast. In fact, carpeting in the teen room is already done as of today.  Let's take a peek.

 This may look like a rather chaotic Teen Room, but...


 just see how nice this corner looks.

Staff in charge of the Teen Room/teen programming have done a fantastic job of picking carpet that really blends these seemingly contrasting colors together in harmony with one another.

There may still be a good bit left to do, but one of the main reasons for closing was to lay the flooring in the hallway leading to the meeting rooms as well as in the bathrooms off that same hallway and to construct the new check-in area; so at this point it looks like we're in good shape. We will definitely keep you posted!
Why did the snake get on the elevator?

Answer:  To move up to the second floor for some fresh air!   Rocksssanne, the library's ball python mascot, needed temporary relocation so she could avoid noxious fumes.  The new epoxy surface for the first floor hallway was applied directly outside her home.  Dale Ricklefs, library director, is graciously sharing office space with her reptilian colleague.  Dale reports that, even though Rocksssanne is currently shedding her skin and therefore feels a bit more sensitive than usual, she appears to be handling the transitions well.


The same can be said of other library staff.  Employees accustomed to spending most of their time assisting the public now log in many hours shelving, shifting, and processing books and other resources.  Candy, Chip, David S., and Eric spent hours measuring and analyzing shelving allocations on second floor.  They now have a strategy for combining circulating and non-circulating books so that our patrons can more easily find and use all the materials on their chosen topics.  As that ambitious project is gearing up, this empty shelving area awaits its new, more effective arrangement.




What's behind door number one?

Well, it's more of a makeshift partition than a door. I suppose a more appropriate question would be...

What's behind makeshift partition number one?

 A new car!  Just kidding...

 A new floor! In fact, I think it's shinier than a new car!


However, there is an old aphorism that states, "When there is gain in one area there is often a loss in another." In the case of flooring here at the library, this seems to be true.  Check out the Teen Room.


Creation and destruction are just part and parcel of the way things are right now here at the old Round Rock Public Library, but don't worry too much about the floor above. We'll be creating something new soon enough.


No tumbleweeds yet, though

The library under renovation is a bit like the Old West.  With offices being uprooted for carpeting and computers a rare commodity, library staffers are homesteadin' office space and stakin' out opportunities to go online and revise records, create reports, or whatever.  Like many co-workers, Jane selected her few most precious office possessions to carry with her--in a cardboard box lid instead of a Conestoga wagon.  Along the isolated frontier of the newly tiled guest computer area, she set up camp in a spartan but relatively untroubled space. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (downstairs, actually) Said and some of the helpful construction crew taped up a makeshift partition.  The plastic curtain screens the hallway while it's bein' thoroughly scrubbed to prepare it for the new surface.  That'll doubtless protect the womenfolk and other frontier types.

And the person responsible for disconnectin', reconnectin', movin', and troubleshootin' all those computers is David Wongwai.  He moves so fast and so often that we don't have a photo of him yet.  Like the guys from the noble tradition of Old West television heroes, he shows up in the nick of time, does what needs to be done, and dashes off to answer another distress call.  Who was that IT man?



What a Wonky Wednesday...

Currently, entire offices have been packed away into boxes and piled in the middle of the floor at various points, and large portions of the library are also sectioned off due to carpeting. Thus, today's main challenge is simply navigating on and between floors.  


We are also down to just three computers for staff use today due to all the re-arranging.  In fact, the computer I am using right now is the computer designated for check-in, but I'm multi-tasking. The intercom system has enabled us to announce when a computer has become available for use. The author of this blog looks at it this way--challenges and obstacles are not things in your way, but rather opportunities to grow and chances to be innovative.


 Well, time to return to scanning items back into our system.

 Hope your day is nice and sunny!

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