The sounds of hammers, the groans of book movers, the sore hands from reshelving, and the anticipation of reopening are over! The renovation duration is complete and the library smells and looks like new. The purpose of the renovation was to create a more modern space but to also stay true to Spaulding’s traditional values. I wanted to open up the Library, generate more flexible seating, and provide a specific collaborative area for teachers and community members. It has been a long process from conception to reality and the results have been positive and rewarding for all of us here in the Library. It did indeed take a village to reconstruct the Library from students to the Library staff, to Spaulding’s amazing custodial staff. Below in pictures, you will see the various phases and people who helped make this a reality.
Phase I: The Layout: Fall 2017 to Spring 2019. Architectural design created with help from Michael Pope at Barre Town School. We had many different designs and they all had to fit into my vision. I think we did a pretty good job!
Phase II: Prepping for the Renovation: Preparing the Library required analyzing/evaluating the collection and making tough choices on what books to keep and what to recycle or repurpose. Libraries need to balance the influx of new materials with the need to keep titles with high interest and relevant research value. This process took most of the 2018 school year into the fall of 2019.
Phase III: Packing Up the LIbrary: Spring of 2019. To say this was a labor-intense process is an understatement. It took student volunteers, the Library staff and our SHS’s substitute staff HOURS to sort and fill 130 bright orange bins, remove old technology, and cover those aspects of the library that couldn’t be moved. We still ran out of the bins and had to stack books in the eClassroom on tables.
Phase IV: The Physical Renovation: This happened over the summer. We tore down the old circulation desk, blew a hole in the wall, tore up the old carpet, painted the walls, and put in the new carpet.
Phase V: Putting it all back in: It took an entire library, custodial, and sub staff to put everything back in order. Starting in late August, we finally were able to open the doors to the library in the second week of September. Who knew that putting away books could be so exhausting? Of course, we had to forget ONE bin which required another round of shifting in the fiction section.
Phase VI: Tada!! The final results: The new space is open, bright, and very inviting. We have a beautiful new window to the hallway, booths with tables for students to snack and socialize, we have tall tables, beanbags, and tall chairs to help with flexible seating as well as new whiteboards and projector for collaboration. Our beautifully crafted new circulation desk is the centerpiece with an incredible SHS logo that ties it all together. We are all proud of our hard work and the students have really gravitated towards the new space.
Phase VII: The Little Details: As we move forward, we will continue to reuse and repurpose books removed from the collection and fundraise for new movable furniture, an up-to-date audio/visual room and a stage for presentations. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Come and see us, relax, and enjoy!