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

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