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Adventures in Demolition :. ACTC’s Library Renovation Project Sara Brown and Pamela Klinepeter, Ashland CTC. In the Beginning: What We Knew and When We Knew It. In the Beginning….Prior to Actual “Renovation”. Approval for new carpet given in August 2011

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Adventures in Demolition:

ACTC’s Library Renovation Project

Sara Brown and Pamela Klinepeter, Ashland CTC


In the Beginning:

What We Knew and When We Knew It


In the Beginning….Prior to Actual “Renovation”

  • Approval for new carpet given in August 2011
  • August Staff meeting – SWOT/ “Wish List” creation
  • Weeding continued – A little faster now (Jan – mid April)
  • On April 16, the plan for Phase I of carpet installation was put into place
    • Note the Phase I….there is more to this story!
  • Books to be kept were moved to computer lab and rooms within the library not to be part of Phase I carpet installation
  • Weeded books not going to BWB (more on this later) were “recycled”
  • May 12, 2012 (day of ACTC graduation (a Saturday)) was to be the last “work” day before renovation began
  • May 14, 2012 – ORIGINIALLY SCHEDULED D-DAY FOR CARPET/SHELVING REMOVAL. Library planned to reopen by May 21 or the 29…AT THE LATEST!!!

The Timeline…as it actually occurred

  • Jan – April – Weeding at a pleasant pace
  • Mid April – May 15 – Weeding at breakneck pace
  • May 14, 2012 – D-day…didn’t happen…good thing
  • May 17, 2012 – Phase I and II are no longer separate – It is all Phase I
  • May 17-23, 2012 – Panic Mode. All books to be moved…again! This time with more people, carts, and spaces.
  • Begin Shelving removal. Code name: “Project Helter Skelter”
  • June 1, 2012 – Carpet ripped up. Employees go into “Self-Preservation” mode.
  • June 6 – 10, 2012 – Library closed to all personnel except those replacing carpet. Glue stinks.

The Timeline…as it actually occurred, cont.

  • June 13 - 26 , 2012 – shelving starts to go back up, furniture comes back in
  • June 27, 2012 – Books start coming back in to the library…not on their own of course.
  • July 1, 2012 - August 1, 2012 – Stuff happens, but no one remembers because they went into self preservation mode again. There was a lot of crawling on floors, under tables and listening to iPods.
  • August 2, 2012 – Library Reopens.
  • August 2, 2012 – Present Day – Library Employees lull into a sense of completion and then, another box that hasn’t been unpacked is discovered.


WhatchaGonna Do With All That Junk?


Weeding in a Hurry

    • Criteria:
      • Condition of book
      • Publication date
      • Support of current curriculum
      • Circulation history
    • After weeding:
      • Shelflist card pulled.
      • Barcode stapled to shelflist card.
      • If there was no shelflist card, temporary card was made.
      • Technical services librarian used the cards/barcodes to withdraw books from the catalog and delete OCLC holdings.

Better World Books (

    • Library discards and donations.
    • Antiquarian, Rare, and Collectable (ARC) books.
    • No cost to the library.
    • BWB handles all aspects of inventorying, marketing, selling and shipping.
    • BWB provides shipping boxes and covers shipping costs.
    • BWB sells them on one of 53 channels and shares the proceeds with you and one of their nonprofit literacy programs.


    • Reuse First Internet Service
    • BWB prescreening tool.
    • Simple ISBN search let’s you know whether or not to send a book to BWB.
    • Prescreening is not required.
    • Prescreening can yield some surprising results.

BWB Outcomes

    • ACTC sent 2892 books to BWB.
    • The Community & Technical College Foundation of Ashland received a small commission (by check) for each book that BWB was able to resell. All other books were either donated to specific charity and non-profit groups or recycled.
    • BWB sent us an Excel report:
      • Only 12 were donated.
      • 1250 were added to BWB inventory.
      • Over 1000 were recycled.
      • 630 had been sold as of January 2013.

Reconfiguring the Space:




    • Integrated the Ashworth Collection (books and journals), moving it out of the Bibliographic Instruction Room.
    • Moved Read Right and Children’s Literature reserves out from behind the circulation desk to enable browsing.

Problems Encountered: A Hindsight Review

  • Many people involved with whom no communication or planning occurred prior to the “big move”
  • Timing – But, is it ever a good time?
  • Many Collections and “special interests” to protect
  • Space/Time Continuum
  • Did I mention communication?
  • The health of the staff – mental and physical
  • The unseens and the unknowns
  • Books are heavy – did I mention our physical health?
  • The heat….MY GOD! The heat!
  • … and the cold.
  • The keys…all of the keys. Where are they now?
  • The boxes and boxes and boxes…of stuff
  • Clear Communication. Very specific and clear. In writing communication. Yeah, that kind.

Problems Encountered: A Hindsight Review

  • Oddly enough, book trucks aren’t actually good for moving lots of books for long distances or multiple trips across many different floor types. Who knew?

Unexpected Problems

    • What if the time frame changes?
    • What if the scope of the project changes?
    • What if people continue to wander in because you can’t lock the doors?
    • Bibles in poor physical condition – how do you deal with them?
    • What if the public finds out?

“Before the doors closed I noticed two rather large trash containers with wheels on them that were FULL of books, on the top was some sort of book on Anatomy from the title I saw. I did not step off the elevator at this floor but in my mind I was thinking what a waste of educational material. Yes, there may be a newer version out of these books and some may have been used or they may have been outdated. What broke my heart was knowing that all this education material was heading for the junk pile. Upstairs on the first floor is even a box asking for donations to a foreign country for children. Adolescents and teenagers are children too. How easy it would have been to donate these also. The local library or even Salvation Army is also another good option.”

“At one time I remember this school taking great pride in donating to the community and helping young minds achieve the impossible by feeding the thirst for knowledge. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my grandmotherly concerns.”


What did work well?

  • The employees…
  • The new layout
  • Getting input from the library personnel
  • Merging collections
  • Streamlining the collection
  • Making study space
  • Making space with better light
  • Reusing what we had and reconfiguring it to work for us!
  • Taking a look at our “areas” and making them better.

Reflections on Renovation:

What We Would Do Differently