George Armstrong Library will reopen Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 21, 2010

The process of moving all of the library materials, furniture and shelving to prepare for the carpet installation, the sheer volume of carpet to be laid, the clean-up, and the task of returning the library to operational functioning was a much larger undertaking than any of us anticipated. This issue and some unforeseen complications have made us realize that we will not be able to reopen on Monday, as we had planned.

Library staff and volunteers actually began moving furniture and smaller collections, such as audio and video, as well as professional books last Saturday morning. At 1 p.m., immediately after closing, we began packing and moving books. We left exhausted at 5 p.m. On Sunday morning, the carpet installers began removing the carpeting from areas that had been cleared of furniture and books. That afternoon, both library staff and carpet installers worked until nearly 5. Library staff reported at 8 Monday morning to continue the process of boxing and rubber-banding (when we ran out of boxes!) books. The wooden shelving obviously could not be moved until they were empty of books. Because the empty shelving had to be moved from one side of the library to the other, as areas were cleared, several moves were required to access the large floor areas the carpet was removed from, then glue applied and the new carpet installed. No one anticipated the process would take so long.

We felt this was the best opportunity to completely update our look. The last time the library was painted (many, many years ago), the walls were simply painted around the shelves. So, behind the books, you could still see the green walls! A fresh coat of paint was obviously in order. In addition to rearranging our collections in order to add our new teen room and to make our periodical room more inviting, we are doing some refreshing.

Due to the generous donations made in memory of Dr. Clifford Tillman, and matched with funds from the Friends of the Library, we are redecorating the periodical room, which will be renamed the Dr. “T” Memorial Reading Room. We have some other surprises in store, as well!

With all this going on, we will not be able to begin re-shelving books until Friday, at the earliest. Library staff will continue to work through the weekend, but the re-shelving will take two to three times longer than the boxing and banding took, since all order was lost five minutes into the process, or so it seemed.

Our best intentions were to reopen on Monday. You probably know what they say about good intentions. Anyway, we hope to reopen on Wednesday. The Presbyterian Church graciously allowed the AARP Tax Aide Volunteers to make use of their room this week and we certainly appreciate both the church and the AARP for being so accommodating and understanding. So, our goal is to be ready to reopen on Wednesday. We may not have all the books in their proper places, and we may all wander around looking for things, but we hope you will feel the inconvenience was worth the result. Thank you.

Susan Cassagne is the director of the George W. Armstrong Library.