Pages

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Tale of Tubs, Boxes, Plastic Wrap, and Demolition

Tubs of checked in materials waitign to be delivered to Bethesda.
Tubs of Checked In Materials Waiting
to be Delivered to Bethesda.
The past three weeks have seen a variety of activity take place leading up to the beginning of actual construction. While most of our staff have spent the time acclimating to their new temporary branches, the management team, office clerk, and several library pages spent their time trying to check in and shelve as many of the returned or new library materials from our daily deliveries as they could before the shelves became inaccessible prior to the start of renovations. Many items had to be boxed because of space constraints or because the shelving in those areas was removed to prepare for construction. In those cases, staff needed to be able to get as many boxes filled and moved out of the building to storage as quickly as possible so that they wouldn't get in the way of construction work. In addition, staff processed dozens of holds and contacted customers about redirecting them to other branches. Nearly 150 tubs of returned items, new items, and holds were processed in these three weeks!


The shelves have been wrapped to keep materials from getting dusty during construction.
The Shelves Have Been Wrapped.
Carpeting being removed from the rear of the library.
Carpeting Being Removed From the Rear of the Library.
The library staff haven't been the only ones busy in the building. Just before Labor Day, crews removed carpeting and tiles from the staff area of the building. This past week, all of the shelving in the public area was wrapped in plastic to keep all materials dust-free during construction. As soon as that was finished, the contractors began removing carpeting, starting at the rear of the building. Work was also begun to complete the preparatory work necessary before the roof is completely replaced later on in the construction process.

Public Restroom Demolished.
The information desk has been removed.
The Information Desk Is Gone!
Sometimes, in order to construct new things, one must deconstruct the old ones. Such was the case in two key areas of the building, the public restrooms and the service desks. The restrooms are now just shells of their old selves and are nothing but studs and insulation. The information and circulation service desks have been demolished in preparation for the new desks that will include sit/stand workstations for staff.


The circulation desk has been removed.
The Circulation Desk Is Gone Too!
Stay tuned for our next exciting installment later this month! And, in the meantime, please make sure to change the pick-up location for any holds you may still have coming to Bethesda.  That will help avoid any further delays in getting a long-awaited copy of A Gentleman in MoscowGlass Houses, or whatever your next must-read title is, into your hands.


Nancy Benner,
Branch Manager





Monday, August 21, 2017

The Prep Work Begins.....

Carts of books waiting to be placed on empty shelves.
Carts of books waiting to be placed on empty shelves.
And we're off!  Bethesda Library closed its doors to the public on Sunday, August 6. However, that was just the beginning of the hard work for our staff. 

The first week was spent on a variety of projects to get the building ready for construction. The children's staff spent several days with our movers packing up picture books, beginner books, CD Books, DVDs, and some fiction books. All of these needed to be removed either in preparation for new shelving to be installed during construction or so that the walls in those areas could be painted. 

Staff also took time to label all of the furniture in the public areas of the building so that the movers would know what was to be kept and put in storage and what would be discarded and replaced. 

The other major project for the first week was shifting the bulk of the adult collection to make it flow better and make it easier for customers to navigate. We also had a visit from one of our friends on MCPL's Tech Management staff who came to begin disconnecting and packing up our public and service desk computers for safekeeping during the renovation.

Empty Picture Book Shelves
Empty Picture Book Shelves
Of course, regular library work continued throughout the week as well. Staff were kept very busy checking in library materials that were returned to our bookdrop or from other branches as well as continuing to process new items. We made hundreds of phone calls and sent dozens of emails asking customers to which other MCPL branch they wanted their holds sent.  (Important public service announcement: Please remember to change any holds you have designated for pick up at Bethesda to another location so you're not delayed in getting that book or DVD you've been waiting for!) 

Furniture lined up to be loaded onto the moving truck.
Furniture to be loaded on the moving truck.

Week two has been focused on clearing out furniture from the public areas, preparing the service desks (information, children's, and circulation) for removal or demolition, and packing up the workroom and staff office spaces. It was quite a sight to see all of the furniture lined up for loading onto the moving trucks. The library looks so empty without it!

Staff also continued checking in returned materials and making phone calls about customer holds. (Have you changed your holds pick up location yet?)

Most of the furniture has been removed from the library.
Almost no furniture left!

While we were busy packing up the building, we also opened our temporary UniCart service at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. Stop by on Wednesdays from 11am to 2pm to peruse our selection of Express Best Sellers and check one out.  Service at the UniCart is limited to checkout and return of the items borrowed from the Unicart itself. Staff do not accept returns from other branches (including Bethesda) and it is not a location for picking up holds.

Starting next week, most of our staff will be ready to greet you in their new temporary reassignment branches. Please stop by and say hello to them and stay tuned to this blog for further updates as construction commences and continues.

Nancy Benner,
Branch Manager

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bethesda Branch Closes for Refresh

The Bethesda branch closed to begin its refresh at the end of business on Sunday, August 6. A pop-up library will be placed at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center located at 4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda. The temporary library is planned to be in operation on Wednesdays from 11 am to 2 pm, beginning August 9. A “refresh” project gives library buildings significant and timely updates without having to close for the amount of time it takes for a full renovation.