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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Massive Relocation of Collections to the New 5th and 6th Floors Set to Begin

Since its early planning stages the primary focus of the 5th and 6th floor construction project has been the construction itself, the effort to build back the areas of the library flooded and destroyed after Hurricane Katrina. But in the background that effort was always closed related to the collections recovery and rebuilding that provided most of the resources to be housed in the new space. In the further background, as the construction neared it completion, there would need to be one last major undertaking:  a massive effort to move collections, equipment, and staff into the new spaces so that the area can be opened for use by students and faculty.

The move of collections to the 5th and 6th floors is set to begin this week, although the first several days will be largely devoted to one final round of planning and logistical analysis.  Through a formal bidding process Tulane has selected a library moving company called Library Design Systems (LDS), based in Houston, TX, to do this work.   The project will require LDS to move about 50,000 linear feet of library materials, presently housed in several temporary locations, to library's new 5th and 6th floors. The build-back library addition has general "static" shelving for books and government documents on its 5th and 6th floors. On its 6th floor it has three areas of high density shelving for music books, music and media recordings, and rare books. The 6th floor also has an area for microforms.

The temporary locations currently housing collections to be moved include:
  • The library’s off-site storage facility at 900 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway about two miles for the uptown Tulane campus. 
  • The 7th and 4th stacks levels in Jones Hall, located directly across and less than 100 yards from the Howard-Tilton building 
  • A temporary area for Music & Media located on the 4th floor of the Howard-Tilton building 
  • The open stacks areas in the northeast quadrant of the 4th floor of the Howard-Tilton building and other areas of the open stacks on floors 2-3. 
  • A temporary area for Microforms & Newspapers located on the 2nd floor of the Howard-Tilton building
All the above is expected to be accomplished with an estimated period of about 16-20 working days, with the main goal to have most of the material in place before the start of the spring semester.  During this same period other crews will move the staff equipment and supplies needed to operate the services to be provided on the new floors. 

The scope of work for the collection move includes a final phase, requiring an additional estimated 12 working days, in which collections will be shifted to restore lower floor spaces of the library to their original use prior to Katrina, after which large areas of study and user space were filled in with temporary shelving.  This phase is expected to take place in the early portion of the spring semester in the general stacks areas of the library's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Loud Work Has Ceased for the Study and Exam Period

Rules laid out in the construction plans prohibit disruptive work onsite during study and exam periods. This effectively means that all construction work within the lower floors of the building has now been halted, officially between the dates of Friday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday Dec. 15.  Loud activity within the new 5th and 6th floors above has been shut down as well.

A small crew from a library shelving company has been completing its installation of the last remaining book shelves to go in on the upper floors, in this case located in a small section of the southeast corner of the new 5th floor.  The crew is not using power tools and the work is not considered equivalent to construction activity or noticeable on the floors below.  However, the work will be stopped too by Tulane’s department of Capital Projects & Real Estate (CPREG) if it at any point its determined to be disruptive.

Once the construction work resumes after the study and exam period ends, only a few more weeks of work is expected before the construction project is officially declared by inspectors to be "substantially complete," with only minor punch list items remaining.  The goal is to allow the library to move collections and staff into the new upper spaces in time to open them for the upcoming spring 2016 semester.