Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Downsizing

Oh boy. Just found out today that the library will be losing close to one third of its space. Offices. Classrooms. Study space. Not sure what, but all I know is that reorganization, more weeding and moving hundreds of books will be taking place very soon. Am I angry? Of course not. We just don't have enough space, and thanks to all the huge budget cuts (and lack of that "angel benefactor" we need) there simply is no other choice but to cut into the library's space. So today I began the arduous and painful task of more weeding and moving stacks and stacks of our books to make room for the demolition. Giving away five sets of encyclopedias to various classrooms is where I started.

Day 2. I've been trying to get teachers to take books to their classrooms as opposed to throwing them out. A few have come down and taken some books, but the majority are either not interested, don't have room for them or travel to many rooms and don't have a home base. Just heard from the custodians that I can't have any more garbage barrels because the dumpster is full. As I write this, I can see the piles of books on the table, and I'm only halfway through the reference section. I feel for those books. I have also run out of dusting cloths. (I purchase my own Swiffers because they are the best) Years of dust have greeted me with every shelf that I empty.

I began working on redesigning the floor-plan since things were about to change with my square footage. I found an online program called Floor Planner, and began to create a 3D model of our space.(It's free)

Day 3. I'm sore all over from lifting and moving and bending and stretching. I'm going to do other things today like deleting barcodes and updating the collection. I just read an article in School Library Journal about survey results involving spending. At the moment I am amazed that my budget is FAR below the $$ listed (median) for a high school. My fundraising has still not been able to put me at that number. Is anyone else out there feeling the sting of this survey? Projected changes in budget $$ for the northeast (I'm in NJ) for next year are -1.8%.

So I guess you are asking yourself when I am going to mention the ups of downsizing. Any type of cleaning can be therapeutic, you know? Getting the shelves all neat and in order, eliminating books which have sat for decades since they were last used. In the end, the library will be streamlined, clean and ready to service all who enter. Too optimistic? Maybe. Do you have a similar situation in your school? Please share in the comments section. I'd like to know I'm in good company.

2 comments:

  1. I feel your pain about weeding. I took over the MS position from a MS who had been at the school for over 25 years. She did not like to weed, so consequently I have been weeding all year. So far I've weeded over 1,300 books this year. I too, tried to give them away as opposed to throwing them out, but most teachers weren't interested, probably for the same reason the books sat on the shelf uncirculated for so long...they were just too old and outdated to be of any use or interest to anyone. In the end, the majority of the books were thrown out. It really pained me to get rid of so many books, but I know the library is in much better shape now and I can start rebuilding a really good collection. Good luck in your downsizing/rebuilding adventure. It could be a real opportunity to do something great!

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  2. My library is being downsized in a renovation of our K-5 school. I'm losing my story room permanently and my workroom/storage room for a year, to be replace by a small office/workroom/storage. Overall I'll lose about a quarter of my space. I too will be doing lots of weeding and tossing. My upside of downsizing is that I'll come out of it with all new shelving and furniture. If I don't focus on the upside I'll end up crying. . .

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