Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Contents have been returned to "new room".

I have been gone out of town for a vacation (Louisiana) and some personal time with family in Houston. Thus the delay in any posts. Parts had it's sad moments and some were quite enjoyable. Returning to my own bed was probably the best part.

But Monday, July 24th our restorer started bringing back the contents to our back room. When they got done Tuesday, I was surprised how much room we had left, because of what we had thrown out. My co-worker suggested that we put down some tape where we want to add a partition and see if that allows us enough room to use that area as a work/store room.

She is such a wise person and has the years of experience I don't, to fulfill my position as librarian. My academic dean told me one time (as well as others) to own my strengths and 'staff' my weaknesses. She certainly fits the bill. But I am digressing.

So as our items were returned I started playing with space. I wish I had this kind of space at home to sort through things, move, rearrange, and organize. It was exhausting, but I have been able to get a good idea of what space we need for storage and therefore how much of the original room will be left for something else. I am still looking for one book that I thought had been sent for mold treatment. But Tues. I made a trip to our 'restorer's' place of business. We went through every box that was in the mold holding space. I didn't find the book. I do have a picture of it. But I don't have a title. So, a word of advice from this aching and exhausted librarian - if you think something is of value = stop and take the time to get the details, in spite of the urgency of an emergancy situation. And 'document, document, document'.

Already I am finding that there is some mix up of what was taken to be cleaned and what's not returned. That still begs more investigation. Having been at the on-site location of the restorer's business, I can see the easiness of items "disapperaing." But I have "3 fingers pointing back at me" that I need to check out before any other thoughts are pursued.

Well, now it looks like we are at the point of wrapping up this situation and settling on the dollar amount of the loss. Next will be wisdom for the powers that be as to what will be done with the money that came from the library's situation. Hopefully we will be able to either purchase items to replace what we lost, or spend it on the facility in other ways - like putting in an A/C now for that back room. With it redone and now airtight, we are going to have to have some kind of air movement in there or we will be right back where we were with the mold. :-( However, another wise friend told me that it wouldn't be any good to have a wonderful library if there is not "the rest of the school". This is a private institution so it seems that money is always tight - a never ending theme. So, some of it may be put toward other needs.

In spite the "tragedy" of the situation I have found it satisfying if not almost enjoyable to be able to oversee this transformation. I didn't have to worry about the money (I've always lived on a tight income). That's not to mean I spent money left and right. There were perimeters. But for example, the insurance guy and the carpet business man came in with carpet samples and basically I said "I'll take that one." Well, actually I had a choice between 2. No actually I had the choice between several, but I wanted to come as close to what we already had as possible. So that narrowed it down to two shades of brown. But, hmpf, that's almost scary when you've got the "power" to say "I'll take that one" and it's done. Voila! -Something I can't do at home.

One thing I have been grateful for. When this tragedy happened, we had people orchestrated by the insurance agency that immediately stepped up and went to work dealing with the different needs. Many librarians are overwhelmed and at a loss as to what to do, how to do it and where to begin first and who to contact for help. I even have a former supervisor who has conducted workshops on disaster recovery and how to even prepare for it ahead of time, with plans already in place for actions to be implemented in such a situation. This is wise as you are able to calmly make such plans when you are not in an emotionally stressed situation. When the need presents itself, if you are not already prepared you are losing valuable time trying to decide first what to do. Having said that, I have not written such a plan, but fortunately our insurance agent was already prepared.

Well, now we are facing the beginning of another school year. Because of our "new room" we will have additional, and adequate room for registration. I'm even learning to plan ahead (not my strong suit) by preparing for our upcoming registration day. Our Registration Day meeting is tomorrow and we have plans in place of how we are going to handle the traffic flow in the library for registration day. The Dean's dept had made sounds last year of doing something different that our staff is not in favor of. So we'll see.

In the meantime, the Learning Center director and I have started meeting to figure out what each other is doing so as to NOT overlap or compete with what the other is doing, but instead work together in tandem. I can forsee though, that some dust is going to have to be settled before this is accomplished as having a "learning center" is something relatively new for our college. This institution is not used to the Librarian doing (traditionally) what they have been asking the LC to do. Any suggestions as to what the practice is in other locations would be helpful. I will need to be talking to the academic dean at some point about what is my role in this emerging situation, i.e. what should be the librarian's responsibility and what should be the learning center's responsibility.

I will be looking for your thoughts.


Life On The Run Film said...


I can see you're in the thick of it. Hang in there. I hope your vacation in Houston went well. We just had our roof patched and painted blue. It looks good.

The film is moving forward, lots of production in Sept. I really like this stuff.



The (original) Warrior Librarian said...

I'm curious as to why you have called yourself "Warrior Librarian", when you are in no way connected to THE world-famous online satirical journal of the same name ....

Yours sincerely,
The ORIGINAL Warrior Librarian
(Legally registered as such in 1999)

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