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This month has been a bit chaotic because we were remodeling. While remodeling the department is not a program, it effects programing, circulation, and everything else that goes on in the department. It can also be challenging, so I would like to share some of the things we learned in the process.

When we started thinking about remodeling, we measured all of our rooms, the shelves, and the furniture. Then, I created a graph paper floor plan of the department where one square was equivalent to a foot. I also cut out accurately sized pieces of paper for the furniture and shelves. Each piece of furniture was backed with a loop of not-very-sticky tape, so that it could be re-positioned if needed.

We tried out many different ideas and researched the appropriate aisle width. Basically, you should make sure there is at least 36″ between furniture items to allow for wheelchair accessibility. Here is a link to the ADA:

When we worked out our final plan, and it was approved, Scott made a masterful schedule. We moved some parts of our collection gradually. The video games and CDs were re-labeled with spine numbers, so that they could be stored on a book shelf instead of a rack, which freed up a lot of space. It also meant that all of our audio-visual materials were in the same area. Then we moved our non-fiction to its new location on the wall under the “YA Reading Nook” sign. (Why didn’t we ever have books there before?) This move also gave us more space because it eliminated a wide low shelf in the center of our department. Any time you can minimize the amount of floor space being used, you will be creating more room overall.

The fiction collection was broken into two sections for the move. A-K lived in the room where we do programs, and L-Z stayed out on the shelves (for the most part). Addie made an awesome map indicating where everything was located, and each table of books was clearly labeled.

The coolest thing about the move was that the department was still functional for most of the move. Granted, it looked a little crazy, but with the exception of the morning we moved the desk, we were able to check out books and shelve them. Now we have a more spacious-looking layout and additional room on the shelves!

Notes: Not all metal cantilevered shelves are the same size. Some styles of end panels are no longer made. (We are creating a large cork board end panel to hide the fact that we cannot purchase one that matches the end panels we have already.) Drilling into metal is slightly easier when you create a pilot hole with a smaller bit. If you are well-organized, moving might not take as long as you thought it would. We were scheduled to be closed for two days, but we finished early and were able to stay open.