Category Archives: Library move

Caught up?

Could it be?  Is it possible?  Has it happened?

For the last two and a half months, I’ve felt more than a little behind, the way I used to feel when running track races in high school (clearly I never made varsity).  Pant, pant, pant.  Can’t quite catch up. 

After being closed for a month for the library move, then being swarmed with business in the new building, then the preparations for the summer reading program – well, my office looked like a combination of a storage area and dumping ground.  Not good.  And my hyper-organized self was miserable.  All I wanted was to get rid of the piles of books and catalogs and reams of lists that were stacked on my office desk.  It didn’t seem too possible.

But then there was yesterday.  I got in a half hour early (I love getting to work early now…I must be aging), and by Renee’s arrival in my room at 1, I was actually caught up.  Well, ok, my office was clean.  I’ll be fully caught up by the end of next week.  But most of my to-be-done piles are taken care of, and it no longer feels like I’ll never be caught up.  So now we have our fabulous new building, AND the rhythm of my work is starting to fall into a manageable pace.  Aaaaaah.

Weekend update

Things are nearing completion…

On Thursday, all of my office furniture was delivered and installed, and I was happily surprised to find that the children’s office has a large, l-shaped desk, a bookcase, AND a storage cabinet with doors to hide messy things.  I immediately unpacked the ten or so boxes of office stuff, and it’s looking pretty settled in there.

Also on Thursday, I received an email from the head of a local preschool.  I had known that the preschool would be donating the proceeds of their yearly fundraiser to the children’s room, for the purchase of new toys, but it wasn’t until Thursday that I found out how substantial that donation would be.  Very, very generous!  Now the children’s room will have shiny new toys to match the gorgeous decor.

And so on Friday, I went on a reconnaissance mission to make a list of toys (stuffed animals, puppets, games, puzzles, and baby toys) and “pre-shop” so that I’d have a sense of how to use the donation.  It was hard work, let me tell you.  I’m a Yankee/Pennsylvania Dutch hybrid, and spending that much money is not in my nature.  But it’s also awfully good fun to shop for toys and know that the library will finally be equipped with a variety of safe, cool, washable toys.  I’ll be doing the actual shopping trip on Wednesday, so that the toys will be in place in the building for the Grand Opening Celebration next Saturday.

Friday was also the day that the computer experts from the region moved our server and set up the connections for all of the internet-linked computers in the building.  They were very nice, efficient people, and we’re now up and running, ready to start all the computer-based tasks on Monday.

And for now, I’m trying hard to finish the book reviews that I need to write by Friday, while Jim works just on the other side of the sliding glass door removing the vinyl siding from the house.  Not only is the new library about to open, it’s also the start of project season at home, and we do have a lot of projects planned.  (Happily, the old clapboards underneath the vinyl siding are in awesome condition; looks like we’ll just have to choose a color – current color is mold-on-cheese-green – and paint.)

Board plans

I figure that I have time for one last bulletin board display in the old library building.  I’ve checked with Mary, my library director and boss extraordinaire, and she agreed with my idea for this last board display: a preview of the new building.  I’m not quite sure how I’ll pull this together, but my sketchy thought is to post photos of the interior of the new children’s room, give the highlights of the new facility in terms of children’s programming and collection space, and, when we know the exact timeline, post a running countdown to the move.  I know I’ve said this before, but this new building is beyond belief, and I’m beyond thrilled by the future of the Harvard Public Library.  Come in and see the new bulletin board, to be installed in the next couple of weeks!!

New library!

I got a really great treat today – a tour of the new library building-in-progress.  Mary, the library’s director, and Roy, one of the library’s trustees, took Lisa and me on a complete, bottom to top tour of the new library.  Over the next two weeks, Mary will taking all of the staff members on tours so that we can all begin to visualize the fantastic place we’ll be working in very soon.

The new building is so absolutely fantastic that I know I can’t begin to describe it accurately – but I’ll try!  For those of you who don’t know Harvard, the high school used to be housed in what is called “Old Bromfield,” a gorgeous old brick building with a slate roof and a cupola with trademark dragons.  Old Bromfield has been replaced by the new Bromfield high school building, and the older building has been vacant for a while.  To make the new library, the architects designed renovations to the Old Bromfield building, and they also designed a complementary addition that retains the spirit, lines, and integrity of the older building.  After my tour today, I think that this new library building will be the most beautiful, classy, and welcoming library building that I have ever seen.

The interior walls are not yet finished, but enough finish work has been done that I could really see what the new location will be like.  Every detail has been thought through, and there are ample spots for quiet reading and appreciation of the incredible view of Bare Hill Pond through giant floor-to-ceiling windows.  The children’s room will have its own large storytime room, which can accomodate smaller programs and movie showings in addition to book groups and storytimes and board game club meetings.  There are also two garden level doors off of the children’s room so that parents can escort their children out for a breath of fresh air in between study sessions or book choosing sessions.  And the younger children will have their very own corner, with a window seat and play table and the picture book and board book collections.  What a change from what we currently have!

The rest of the library is similarly well-designed: the large program room upstairs has a fantastic cathedral ceiling that has to be seen to be fully appreciated; the adult reading room is beyond stunning; and the young adults will have their own space that will hold comfortable spots to read and appreciate the ever-expanding young adult collection.  The circulation desk is open and welcoming, and the behind-the-scenes staff areas are an oasis of calm blue walls.

I am so excited about our move to the new building, and I only have one regret: some small part of me wishes that I could be a regular library patron and curl up in one of those inviting corners in a cozy chair with a great book, enjoying the view and perhaps the warmth of the gas fireplace.  But I’m more than content with the terrific children’s room and my own (!) office with the pond view.  Wow.  Harvard residents, you’ll be blown away when the new building opens!!


The hectic pace of summer is over, we’re gearing up for the move to the new library, and I’ve gone into organization mode.

Some people tease me a lot about my organization and list-making, but I’d like to make it clear that I’m not obsessed, really, I’m just more efficient when I’m organized and have a good list in hand.  Everyone works differently, and the key is to find your own personal style.  Back in college, I learned that if I spent fifteen minutes each day making my bed and tidying my room, then I got much more studying done.  Maybe it’s because I’m not distracted by mundane things.

So this week at the library I cleaned out the desk in the children’s room.  Arts and crafts things got put in the arts and crafts closet downstairs, ancient summer reading prizes got put into the boxes in the attic, and a few things got thrown out (nothing of value, I promise you!).  Now the desk has some empty space in the second drawer, which is just one more step on the road to the new library.  Less to do when it comes time to pack up and move.
And then there’s the issue of my lists.  I read an article in this month’s Real Simple magazine which states the case for getting rid of lists and living your life.  But it must have written by someone with a different list-writing style than I have, since lists for me are an enabler to life.  Each day at work I look at my list, rewriting it if necessary, and it helps me to stay focused, prioritize, and to silence the part of my brain that keeps whispering “don’t forget to do x, y, and z!”  If I write x, y, and z down, then I can focus on what I’m doing at the moment and not worry about forgetting something important.  Lists help keep me from becoming scattered, especially in a job where there are frequent distractions.

Lists and organization aren’t for everyone, but that’s not what matters, is it?  What matters is that we each find the way we work best.  And I’m really happy with my newly cleaned desk.