Friday, September 23, 2016

Gridlock Dissipated

The past couple of weeks have seen delays on all fronts.  We apologize that our phones went out on Sept 12.  As I write this on Sept 23, they are still not back.  Library staff has been using their personal cell phones to try to keep in touch.  Every other day, I have spoken with 4 to 5 people at the telephone company who promised that tomorrow was “The Day.”  This week, we contacted a different provider.  We are now waiting for the “release of the numbers” so a new provider can activate service.  We are told this must legally happen within a week.  So next week, our phone service should be restored.

Despite our lack of phone services, we have heard from many regarding the highly contentious library layouts.  Many are understandably confused.  SBL is one of 176  association libraries in Connecticut.  This means we are an independent 501(3)c non-profit organization governed by the Library Board.  We are tenants in the town’s building.  Like all landlords, the town is responsible for the structure, HVAC, building maintenance and the outside of the building.  The Library is responsible for the furniture and services that take place inside the building.  We strive to make this partnership work for everyone.

The furnishing / layout have gone through many reiterations:

A.  The Library pre-renovation.

B.  Original layout submitted to the State Library Construction grant.

C.  Revised layout submitted to the State Construction Grant in the Spring, when the shelving vendor reported the original layout would not fit the physical space.  Some shelving was lost, shelf sizes were varied and alignment was not possible.  The other alternative was to have less shelving than the pre-renovation layout (A.), which the Library felt was a problem.

D. First plan proposed by Selectmen on September 6 after seeing installed empty shelving.  This plan would have required a substantial elimination of materials, and as such a proposal that the Library could not accept.

E.  Revised Library layout approved unanimously by the Library Board September 12, in consideration of the Selectman and Library’s shared concerns.

F.  Second proposed plan given to the Library from the town.

G.  Current Library Board approved plan.

We have always known that calculating exact space is impossible, and that we will need adjustment.  So this current plan (G) is not fixed in stone, but we are hopefully close!

As you read this, the 300 or so boxes, including materials from the Mini B and the materials that have been stored at Horace Porter School for the past two years, are tucked into corners at the Library.  The storage company has begun to unpack the approximately 900 boxes that have been at their warehouse.