Thursday, June 4, 2009

MPL is Moving!

It has been hectic at my library, to say the least, for the last couple of months. Construction of our new library has been wrapping up, and we've been in this whirlwind of excitement; final touches such as organizing the new coffee station, ordering a parking sign for hybrid cars, deciding where artwork is to be hung, and realizing that the drop-down screen in the meeting room was not installed, have been up and forefront in all our minds.

It's Really Happening!

What we kinda forgot is that we're really moving! And I have a feeling that it won't feel very real until next week, when our current location has closed.

Our last day is the 6th of June, which makes me very happy to be the head staff person on Saturdays. We are hoping to have patrons, volunteers, and staff members to stop into the library to say goodbye and to remember the good times we've had in the building.

Saturday is also our last day of 'life as we know it'. The three weeks that we will be closed are already planned out and packed full of transitional duties. We will be moving all the items over, of course; we'll also be re-arranging furniture, organizing new workflows, and adjusting to all the change.

The 'Transition Team'

For this, we've created a 'Transitional Plan' of sorts. The first week we will be packing up, and formulating further plans for any new things that arise. The second week will kick off with a Community Moving Party - including our District's people in the process (and also giving them a 'sneak peek' of the new building).

For most of the staff, the rest of the second week will be a frenzy of deciding what to put where; for me personally, I will be learning our new technology infrastructure, installing new hardware and software, and creating new systems. My position, with regards to individual workstations, will essentially double.

During this week, we will also be conducting personal interviews with all staff members, essentially gathering information on any ideas they may have, as well as documenting any concerns or struggles that they may have with the moving process. The 'Transition Team', the Director and two staff members, will review these interviews and respond to staff individually.

The last week of the closure will focus on training and settling in. We will be going over any new procedures that will be created as a result of being in a brand-spanking-new building.

Mancos Public Library will reopen at it's new location on Tuesday, 30 June.

It Doesn't End Here

And, according to our conversations with other librarians that have moved to new libraries, the hecticness and insanity that accompanies any building project will not end that Tuesday; it will just change to a different level. We'll all be discovering all the changes that come along with anything 'new'.

So, the 'Transition Team' will not disband the moment of opening. We will be talking with staff throughout the first year, or as long as it takes, and responding to any fear or anxiety that may come along with working in a new place.

We're hoping that by creating a dedicated team for the transition will revitalize the staff and help them to know that they are valued members of our overall MPL team.

How have your libraries handled transition?

Photo: Staff and Family Signature Beam
Credit: Jack Stuart, Jaynes Corporation