As usual, things are really humming over here at Rubenstein Renovation HQ. We have been slowly shipping newspapers and manuscript collections to our offsite facility since the end of August. It’s been very exciting to watch our collections move offsite. We have been seeing quite a few empty shelves appear, which means we are making some real progress!
The Rubenstein Library has also officially taken occupancy of the 3rd floor of Perkins, our temporary library. Although we are not moving offices or the reading room until mid-late December, we are starting to move in some special shelving and hang it at the heights we require. For those of you who really obsess about this kind of thing (and who doesn’t??), most of the shelving in Perkins/Bostock is 9” wide. We have quite a few 11” shelves in the Rubenstein Library, and the extra space allows us to shelve our records cartons and document cases more efficiently than if we were using 9” shelving. We do not have a lot of space in our temporary location so any space advantage we can manage is key.
The shelf hanging process began this week! It is a tedious process, as you can imagine, but we have been moving quickly. Thanks especially to one of our student assistants who is actually a shelf whisperer!
Over the past few months, Perkins staff has been shifting books out of the 3rd floor of the library to make room for the Rubenstein Library to have a home away from home during the renovation. We will be opening our reading room on the 3rd floor of Perkins on January 7, 2013. This month, construction begins in earnest. When we go check on the space, we even have to bring hard hats and safety glasses — this is kind of a thrill for some of us! (Okay, maybe just me.)
Our temporary home will house our reading room as well as work spaces for our Research Services, Collection Development, and University Archives staff. We will also to be able to keep a portion of our collections onsite during the renovation.
As our regular readers know, moving out of our current space is no easy task. In addition to prepping the collections for the move, we also have to execute a safe and secure move in a short period of time with minimal impact on our researchers. We know we cannot do this without the help of professional movers, so we have been talking with and reviewing bids from various moving companies.
Back in 1969 when the library addition we now know as Perkins Library opened, the books were moved by fraternity brothers around campus. Some days I wish our move would be that simple. Although, after looking at the picture below of the 1969 move (from the Duke University Archives), I’m happy we will have the professionals involved.
For more photographs of the Rubenstein renovation, visit the Library’s Flickr page.
Post contributed by Molly Bragg, Collections Move Coordinator in the Technical Services Dept.
Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University