Library move

Two weeks ago my library moved to new premises.

Locating to a new office has meant some things to get used to, not least a slightly different commute,  navigating my way through the crazy lift system and trying to avoid the crisps/chocolate/fizzy drinks vending machine that is inconveniently located about 20 steps away from my desk.

I wanted to record the library move for posterity (and to remind myself how hard it was to organise), so took some photos.

This was the library before the move:

The Library in boxes and shelves being dismantled:

The room formerly known as the Library:

Our new Library space (or a bit of it, anyway):

NB: Not actual view. We’re in the basement.

The move itself went extremely smoothly. We moved out of our old offices on a Friday and into the new premises the following day, with few problems. The new space isn’t as big as the old one and we weren’t allowed to transfer our existing shelving over (better that than no library at all) so there’s very little growing room. I’ve asked the Library Assistant to prune our printed journal holdings over the Summer, which should free up some space. I also need to do a fairly aggressive weed of our management and leadership books.

Indications are that this is likely to be another temporary home for us. Having last moved two years ago, I’m becoming used to a rather nomadic librarian. It feels like starting a new job. I’m also becoming a bit of an expert at the logistics of moving a small (14,000+ items) library. It’s not so much the big stuff you fret about. It’s the zillions of little things, like making sure that rubbish is correctly disposed of, unwanted computer equipment is directed to the right place, organising the postal redirection and making sure  that everyone involved in the move can acccess the building at the same time.

I can’t claim all the glory for the success of the move. It was very much a collaborative effort with the facilities and estates teams for the two organisations involved and the excellent removal firm.I had a fair few sleepness nights in the run up to the first moving day, but it worked out ok. In fact, it went so well that we were able to re-open two days earlier than planned.

So, what CPD lessons have I learned from this experience? Don’t sweat the small stuff (easier said than done); extensive list-making is a must; keep track of what everyone involved in the move is up to; be firm but fair when outlining expectations; plan and prepare effectively;

What would I do differently next time? Well, taking annual leave before the move wasn’t the best idea, although there was very little I could do about it. I had been told that the move was ‘likely to happen’ in March or April and I also had to fit in a holiday that suited my family. It sounds like a silly thing but take in board games on moving day. The Library Assistant and I had to be there to ‘supervise’ but we actually sat around doing nothing because our IT equipment was packed and the removal men didn’t need our help. I’d do an aggressive weed before the move. I managed to dispose of some things beforehand, but not as much as I would have liked to. Doing it now feels counter-intuitive. Bad planning on my part.

Now that the move is over (8 months of planning!) I can concentrate on other things. Namely, getting my CPD back on track. Next stop: Umbrella.


One thought on “Library move

  1. Congratulations on surviving the move! My similar sized library is moving at the moment – we’d be moving on on Wednesday if I wasn’t going to be Umbrella, so Thursday is going to be a little intense. It’s good to see real-world evidence that it can go well (and that I was right to prioritise weeding over other tasks in the last few weeks!)

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