—by Kolleen Taylor

Shifting, sorting, cleaning, re-organizing… it may appear we are spring cleaning at the library, however, we are in preparation for a big project which is looming ahead. We are getting ready to repaint the interior of the library, a project which should be completed by the end of May!

I decided we better warn everyone, as there will be a definite impact to the way we operate. We do not plan to close during the painting project, but we will be moving things around, trying to keep almost everything accessible to our public, while we freshen up the inside of the building.

The meeting room and the inside entrance, was patched and repainted as an Eagle Scout project a few years ago, but the inside walls have not been repainted since it was first constructed in 1994. As we near 20 years in this building, it is well past time to do this. There are areas where the drywall needs repaired, and where fingerprints just don’t clean up with soap and water. And most agree with me that the color scheme needs a bit of updating, and we are opting for warmer tones to brighten the interior.

So we have been working with both staff and volunteers to move and shift as much as possible before we get started with fresh paint on the walls. We are trying to eliminate any dust and dirt on the shelves and the books so it doesn’t relocate to a freshly painted wall. And we are trying to take any books off the shelves, whose condition merit replacement or too dated, so we have fewer books to move when the time to paint arrives.

This is all part of a long range plan of building maintenance that the Board of Trustees developed a few years ago. The carpets will be replaced next, as we know the fibers that are holding together our floor covering are about to dissolve. We are working with local suppliers and contractors to complete this work, and know that they will do all they can to reduce the impact to the library operation as possible.

So, as we put together temporary plans for painting and shifting, you might need to ask where we have moved things. We presently plan to use the Kinne Wing as our temporary staging area for any area of the collection that is being painted, but there will be a plan that is posted where things have moved so you can continue to use our collection. We anticipate a few disruptions, but we believe we can minimize the impact so our regulars feel comfortable coming into the library.

We are looking forward to this, and have shifted our attention to the basics of organizing and using our space the most efficient ways possible, so don’t be surprised if you notice some shelves will become more compressed, and others seem to have little on them. As we’ve been moving and removing items from our collection, the space we open up now will be needed in the days ahead.

Those of you who enjoy buying books out of the sale room, need to know that when they paint that area, we will probably box up those items and leave them in the boxes until the Scandinavian Days Book Sale, which will occur June 7-9. We have already reduced the number of paperbacks available on display as those shelves will be needed for the shifting project. So if you are thinking about vacation in June, and usually buy books that you don’t have to worry about on your trip, I encourage you to check out the sale room soon, before we pack them away!

And… for those new to Story City, and not aware of the annual Scandinavian Days activities, please write this wonderful community event on your calendar! We join with the rest of the community in celebration of the heritage of this community. We also have the biggest book sale of the year with thousands of donated and withdrawn books and media. Coordinated by the Library Foundation, volunteers have been working all year in the year-round book sale room, sorting, moving and packing up items regularly due to the large volume of donations we’ve received all year round. When the weekend ends, the items not sold are packed away and donated to another organization for resale so our own sale room will be filled with all new donations!