As the construction of the new Harrison Branch Library nears completion, final touches for this fall�s big move are being made. While the structural work is still being carried out, the ongoing task of building up the Library�s collection is also taking place. Like erecting a new building, amassing and moving a collection designed to quadruple in size (from filling 4,000 to 16,000 sq. ft.), requires much strategic planning and lots of �muscle� to process and transport all of those books and materials.
To stock the brand new facility in the most beneficial way to serve customers, Branch Manager Margaret Rieger and the library staff have become the architects of an inventory master plan. Since February they�ve been hard at work developing a blueprint for what materials are to be shelved where, all the while ordering in what�s needed and weeding out what�s not. Every item in the present library collection has to be cleaned, recovered, and relabeled. Every part of the collection is also being evaluated to see where to fill in the gaps and what titles warrant ordering in multiple copies. Every new item must also be covered and labeled.
Materials are being gathered in several ways. Orders are being placed as they traditionally would in the Materials Selection Room at the Main Library. But the bulk of the collection is being developed by utilizing what�s already available in the Library�s Annex (located in the old Cincinnati Bell Switching Building in Westwood).� Here, items less than five years old, which have been collected from throughout the library system, will be used to help fill out the collection. �In our new facility customers can expect to find a more diverse collection,� offered Rieger. �They�re going to find things on the shelf they never knew they wanted. For instance, there�s a broader selection on topics such as gardening, travel, and cooking as well as 90 additional periodical subscriptions. We�ve also substantially increased materials available to teens and our audiovisual selection is exploding.�
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Seeking additions through the Friends� of the Public Library warehouse and gifts provided by patrons have also proved beneficial. �What�s so impressive to me is the generosity of the other library branches and the Friends. Their donations have really been a big benefit to us,� said Rieger. �Everything from entire collections of books by contemporary authors and extra fiction copies to easy books and videos have come our way through their welcomed support.�
To help plan the move, the Harrison Branch staff has created a floor plan and model from which to work in the nearby library Annex. Any in-coming materials that have been supplied by other libraries within the 41-branch system or purchased are brought here and then readied for the shelves. The exact amount of shelving space that will be needed in the new library is emulated here. Shelves are numbered and items are flagged to correspond to their location in the new facility. When it comes time to ship the materials, everything will remain in order, as it will end up on the shelves.� From the Annex, materials will be loaded onto wooden carts and wheeled into vehicles that will then transport the collection to its new home. The Harrison Branch Library is scheduled to open in its new state-of-the-art facility (at the corner of New Haven Road and Carolina Trace) this fall.