Renovation Realities

Eva —  April 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

We just finished a small renovation project at my library. The library is about 53,000 square feet, and the renovation affected about 8,000 square feet, but it was an important area–right in front of the entry, so it affected everything. (Click on over to our flickr to see the befores and afters.)

New seating, new flooring.

New seating, new flooring.

The whole project started with flooring; the main entry is a high-traffic area and the carpet was very worn. As part of our strategic plan we were examining the use of space in the library, and decided to put together a group of employees to evaluate the way our residents interact in that main space, do some research, conduct some site visits, and brainstorm ideas on what we could change to improve our service. They then met with the designers, Library Design Associates, who took their ideas and desires and wishes and came up with a great plan for a consolidated service desk area to replace the three separate service points we had before. The end result is beautiful, I think, and that’s due almost entirely to the work and contributions of the people on the committees.

Before any demolition or construction began, we did a lot of planning. We knew we wanted to do the work soon after the new year, and worked backwards from there to come up with a timeline for decision-making and interim deadlines. We had some delays when our electrician had to back out of the project just before work was to begin, and of course we had the “usual” construction delays (stuff didn’t come when it was supposed to, stuff broke, snow storms), but because we built in some cushion, we remained largely on schedule.

This was my first big construction project here, and I am so proud of my staff and my patrons. We had to temporarily move an entrance, move checkin operations, and close the children’s library for two weeks, but everyone remained excited and in good spirits. It was great to see everyone pull together, and to see every day how they continue to work together as one library team.

We have just a few punch list items, including signage–we are heavily debating verbiage and wording right now!–but I think the renovation looks fantastic thanks to everyone’s planning and hard work. We plan to replace the rest of the flooring in the library over the next several years, using donations and money that we’ve been setting aside for just this purpose, so stay tuned!

Eva

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Eva Davis is the Director of the Canton Public Library in Canton, Michigan--not Canton, Ohio, or Canton, Massachusetts, or Canton, Mississippi. (It is an easy mistake to make.) Eva honed her supervisory and management skills working in customer service, research, and publishing before heading to graduate school at the University of Michigan School of Information. She became a librarian in 1998. She was an intern and then the teen services librarian at the Plymouth (MI) District Library before moving to the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library, where she was Head of the Youth Department at the Downtown library, Head of Youth Services for the system, Head of Branch Services, and finally Associate Director for Public Services. Eva has held her dream job as the Director of the award-winning Canton Public Library since 2008. She received the Michigan Library Association's Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Teen Services in 2003, and is a graduate of both Leadership Ann Arbor and Leadership Canton, where she learned that she is moderately Affiliative according to MAFF, her color is "Green" on the Four Color Personality Test, and her Myers-Briggs Type is INTJ (although she has worked diligently and consistently on improving her Sensing, so she now leans ISTJ). Follow @CantonLibrary and @EvaDavisCPL on Twitter. (Photo credit: Susan Kennedy)

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