Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New 5th and 6th Floors Opened

The new 5th and 6th floors have been opened and they are now accessible to library users via unrestricted access from both the elevators and the central stairwell.

Staff members from the former temporary Music & Media Center on the library's 4th floor and the former temporary Microforms | Newspapers area on the 2nd floor have been moved into place to staff a new combined central service point on the 6th floor. For service hours see: http://library.tulane.edu/calendar/mmc and http://library.tulane.edu/calendar/microforms.

General collections on the new 6th floor include:
  • Music & Media recordings 
  • Music books, serials, and scores (M call numbers) 
  • Art and Architecture books and serials (N call numbers) 
  • Microforms and newspapers
Rare collections on the 6th floor include the Rare Books collection formerly housed on the 7th and 5th stacks levels and room 306 at Jones Hall, as well as the Tulane’s Legacy Collection of rare titles formerly housed at the library's off-site facility at 900 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway. The Legacy Collection is still being moved into place and access to Rare Books on the 6th floor is presently by appointment only.  Contact: Kathleen McAllister (kmccalli@tulane.edu) at (504) 247-1934.

General collections on the new 5th floor include:
  • Government documents 
  • HT stacks (call numbers A – BF) 
  • Maps 
TUPD has begun patrols of the upper floors in the evenings.

The upper floors have been opened under a TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy). The temporary, conditional nature of the certificate is a formality that confirms that the construction contractor and its subcontractors are still working in many areas of the building including the uppers floors, but that the construction is substantially complete—complete enough for the library to move in and open the space for use. A considerable amount of work remains including the installation of computers and other equipment in the elevator lobbies and classrooms, as well as completion of a long list of construction-related details including electrical work, patching, painting touch-up, etc. The two classrooms on the 6th floor are currently being used for staging of computers and also carts of rare books destined for the new rare books shelves.

Today’s is a “soft opening” with broader campus wide announcements to come later.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Waiting to Open

The library is primed to open the new upper floors, but is waiting for the construction project’s recently issued TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) to be registered by the construction contractor at city hall, which apparently has required some accompanying documentation, now collected, including a letter from the project’s engineer of record attesting to completion of certain aspects of the project. The temporary, conditional nature of the certificate is a formality that confirms that the construction contractor and its subcontractors are still working in many areas of the building, but that the construction is substantially complete—complete enough for the library to move in and open the space for use.

Thus, with only some paperwork standing in the way at this point, an opening of the new upper floors finally appears imminent. The opening, when it comes, will be a "soft opening" that will consist of simply removing the code blocking elevator access to the upper floors and opening the upper portion of the central stairwell.

The work remaining on the upper floors includes the installation of computers and other equipment in the elevator lobbies and classrooms, as well as completion of a long list of construction-related details including electrical work, patching, painting touch-up, etc.

Construction managers on the project had been aiming to obtain the permits necessary to allow the library to open the upper floors in time for the start of the spring semester, but this did not prove feasible, given the amount of work that was still needed, after all work stopped for the fall study and exam period, for the construction contractor and its subcontractors to address required adjustments such as sprinkler head clearances, smoke control systems, pre-action sprinkler pressure systems, and other significant tasks.

With progress on these tasks, Tulane CPREG (Capital Projects & Real Estate last week hired a separate general contractor  to move office equipment and library staff to the upper floors, and this operation has been completed.

Meanwhile, staff still located in the 4th floor Music & Media Center are retrieving music and media items upon request. At the Circulation Desk we are using our call slip retrieval system to retrieve N call numbers and A-BF call number items on the upper floors.

The Big Move 
The move of collections to the 5th and 6th floors has gone very well. Phase I, the move of collections from the lower floors, was completed last Thursday. In Phase II, the move of materials stored off-site and in Jones Hall, the Jones Hall portion is complete and a crew began moving the Legacy Collection rare books from off-site last week. Phase III, the collections shifting that will put the lower floor stacks back in pre-Katrina order, begins next week. The mover, Library Design Systems (LDS), has stayed on schedule.

In the planned move of some general collection books from the 4th floor open stacks area to the new 5th floor, the mover was able to move A-BF call number ranges including all BF (Psychology) call numbers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Collections Relocation Project Underway

The big move of collections to the new 5th and 6th floors began just after the end of the fall study and exam period with planning sessions and the staging of moving carts and equipment.  At this point, about one week into the project, the move has been going well in its early stages.

Workers from the moving company Library Design Systems (LDS) completed their move of microforms just before taking a short Christmas holiday break last Thursday. This week they moved print collections (mostly music reference materials) from the Music & Media Center area on the 4th floor to the 6th floor high density shelving that will house all music books and scores. Yesterday they began moving the recorded materials (CDs, DVDs, etc.) that have been housed in the Music & Media Center area on the 4th floor, and these are being loaded into the separate high density shelving system located behind the service desk on the 6th floor.

A library planning and advisory team has been working on the move each day with a primary supervisor/project manager from LDS and he will will be joined by two additional supervisors from the moving company next week, working in three teams of 4-5 workers.  The following general sequence of moving tasks has now been set in motion.
  • This Wednesday through Saturday (Jan. 2): Music books (M call numbers) on the 3rd floor to the 6th floor; Art and Architecture books on the 2nd floor (N call numbers) to the 6th floor
  • Monday (Jan. 4) through Saturday (Jan. 9): A-AM call number books temporarily housed off site and AM-BF call number books on the 4th floor to the 5th floor; rare books in Jones Hall room 306 to the new rare book high density shelving on the 6th floor (Friday, Jan. 8); newspapers to the 6th floor and map cabinets to the 5th floor
  • Monday (Jan. 11) through Saturday (Jan. 16): Rare books from the Jones Hall 7th and 5th stacks levels to the new rare book high density shelving on the 6th floor (through Friday); government documents from the library off-site storage facility to the 5th floor
  • Monday (Jan. 18) through Saturday (Jan. 23): Phase 3 shifting to return the lower floor shelving arrangement to pre-Katrina order
  • Monday (Jan. 25) through Saturday (Jan. 30): Phase 3 shifting to return the lower floor shelving arrangement to pre-Katrina order
  • Wednesday (Feb: 10) through Wednesday (Feb. 17): Legacy Collection rare books at the library off-site storage facility to the new rare book high density shelving on the 6th floor
Under this scheduling plan, most of the general collections to be housed on the new upper floors will be in place by around Jan. 8, which would allow the library to begin to make arrangements to move staff to the 6th floor that same week in anticipation of opening the new space for the spring semester, which starts on Jan. 11.  Much work remains on the construction project as a whole before the constructor contractor can obtain the permits needed for the new floors to be occupied, however, which is why construction crews have also been busily working overtime in the library building during the holiday intersession.

The scheduling plan has some moving operations continuing after the semester begins, but less visibly focused mostly on gov docs, rare materials, and shifting collections on the lower floors. Exact dates and some sequencing are subject to change if needed, of course.