Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Who here has moved a library?

renjith krishnan /
Today, we have a request from one of our readers, Susanne, who says:

I am the librarian at a k-8 gradeschool and am in the process of planning a move into a new space.

I would love to have ideas and tips from others who have done the same or are planning to do the same soon.

So, dear readers, what resources or information can you recommend?  How DO you move a library? Comment below and help Susanne with her move!


  1. We moved our library from an overcrowded loft to a new library building right next door in 1990. The key was planning. The new shelves were mapped ahead of time, so volunteer shelvers knew right where to put the next batch of call numbers. This move could be a real opportunity for your library to get people involved in helping. We had departments that never used the library helping out, and new bonds were formed. Yes, it is a challenge, but a move is also a chance to create new ties.

  2. The State Library has done some major shifting, which can be similar to moving a library. One thing that seems obvious, but may not be: Make sure the folks who are filling the shelves understand that you shelve from left to right!

  3. You could have each student take out 10 books from the old location and return them to the new.

  4. Thanks for all your comments! I am not so worried about the actual physical move- that is a matter of organization- but how did you figure out where to put what-e.g. the storytime area or how to design the circulation desk. I want to make the best use of my new space- which tho it is configured abit differently, it is not too much bigger than the old space. Also I am thinking about having a tile floor- maybe using different colors to work in a design- carpet is too easily ruined by food or crafts. Any thoughts about this?

  5. We went to carpet squares that could be individually removed and replaced if damaged. Best of both worlds. I'm "spatially challenged," so can't help much with design. We have a low, wide circ desk that conveys accessibility, but offers some distance & protection (though we are very peaceful here, one does have to think about disturbed patrons). Interesting to balance everything. You don't want barriers.