It’s Been A While, My Friends: Time to Change My Mindset

Hello, all in library land! 

It’s been a while! The last post I wrote was in June after I had just finished packing up the library for renovation. It was a long, arduous journey and I’d like to say we made it, but here it is already November and we are still not in our space. 

What happened you ask? Construction delays, material delays, inspection delays, you name it – it’s happened. I won’t lie to you, my friends: the process has not been fun. It’s difficult when you don’t get any say so in the space that you run. Very difficult. 

I thought I was getting all new furniture to replace the various tables, bookcases, and other furniture that is broken, but I’m not. We are reusing all the old stuff. This is a concern for me because the old pieces of furniture are falling apart and I don’t want anything to happen to someone who uses it. 

I also discovered that I will not have enough bookcases coming back into the space for the 8,000 some books we have, so that is a huge issue for me. Based on the math, I have only enough room to hold 3-5 of the 12 genres represented in my collection. Now I’ll have to decide which books end up on the shelves and which one’s don’t, not to mention how to handle keeping our collection current if there’s no space for new books (even with weeding). 

Just to be clear, I am not blaming anyone. Things have happened that are beyond the control of everyone involved. But when you hear that you’re getting a new space, you dream big. And it is, in fact, totally normal to feel everything that I’ve been feeling with this situation. As my husband and I tell our son, it’s okay to have big feelings. And I sure have! I have been super frustrated, angry, and downright depressed about the whole situation.

It actually took me until the first week of November to work hard and change my mindset about it all. (Thanks to an English teacher friend at South for inspiring me!) I’m still not thrilled about the changes and am still downright angry about not having enough bookcases, but I am determined to focus on the good: I am lucky to get an upgrade and there is light at the end of the tunnel! If we pass inspection next week, I will get the keys to the kingdom (lol). And I will be able to start unpacking the library with the help of my amazing students. 

Though the space is not what the kids and I thought it would be, we are going to make it amazing, because that’s just what we do. We make the library a homey, safe, comfortable space for all. Again, I do understand the circumstances and am not blaming anyone. Students, staff, and I will make it our space again. I just know in my heart that we will succeed at this! 

In the meantime, do any of you, my fabulous readers, have ideas on how to handle smaller spaces for a collection?

As I begin to unpack, I will be writing another blog post about unpacking and student and staff reactions. Stay tuned! 

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