Thursday, July 12, 2012

Important News about the Heritage Room Collection during the Last Part of the Library Renovation

On this day, we'd like to provide notice for some changes that are coming quite soon that could affect your research plans.

In the next few weeks, most of the library will be on the move to enable the last phases of construction. At the end of July, the Reference area is scheduled to move into the renovated side of the second floor, and, at that time, the Heritage Room book collection will become closed stacks through the end of the year

The books in this collection will still be available to patrons, but you will need to ask a librarian to retrieve the title or titles you wish to use. This situation is temporary, merely a side effect of space constraints while the other half of the second floor is being updated.
The Heritage Room microfilm, reader, and digital scanner will remain in the new Reference area until the end of construction. We still urge you to call to reserve the machine you want to use in advance, to ensure it is available when you arrive. All aspects of the microform collection will return to the Heritage Room space once the room reopens, with great fanfare, in early 2013. (It really is sooner than it sounds!)

Among the features of the new Heritage Room space will be 

  • more microfilm readers and printers (plus the old dinosaurs with their loud mechanical Thu-THUNK! when you hit the Print button), 
  • a conference room that will be used for classes but can also be reserved for use by local organizations for meetings, 
  • more computers, 
  • more individual work tables, 
  • more shelves full of books, 
  • lockers for you to stash your bags securely, 
  • an easier-to-find location,
  • a more accessible and browsable magazine area, 
  • a more comfortable ambient temperature in the reading room,
  • a larger vault, and 
  • work spaces for staff so there will be fewer piles of boxes and papers and ledgers and maps in the room, which means more room for you to spread out while researching.

Here are some pictures of the room in progress, courtesy of our public relations guru, Rhiannon Eades:

(click to enlarge image)

In the picture above, you can see the light coming from the new meeting room doorway on the right that was once a window! And on the topic of windows, you can see we still have the large one at the end of the room that always filled the space with such gorgeous golden sunlight in late afternoon.

(click to enlarge image)

Hooray! Carpet padding! 
No, not really exciting, but it is the first step toward getting carpet in the new space. (All steps forward are to be celebrated.) You can also see new walls where the microfilm reader alcove used to be (but is now office space for Heritage Room and Information Services staff), and the knocked out wall where there used to be file drawers filled with microfilm and boxes filled with maps.

(click to enlarge image)

A nice low line of shelves with enough power to handle, according to the diagram of the new second floor layout, seven microform readers and reader-printers. At long last, the digital scanner will be at a comfortable height for long periods of research. 

Please let us know at the Reference desk if you have any concerns, or have questions about using the collection. We understand that having access to the materials you need is important, and we are here to make this temporary inconvenience as little trouble as possible. 

In the mean time, we appreciate your patience, and hope you are as excited about the prospect of a renewed Heritage Room as we are. We miss it, too!

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