The University Libraries held our annual Cleanup Event from August 9-10, 2022. While a longstanding tradition, this year represented the first occasion to span multiple days. Accordingly, individual cleanup time was balanced with departmental efforts and library-wide activities. Highlights included dusting shelves, vacuuming compact storage spaces, and moving chairs through the buildings.
The most ambitious task, however, involved a simultaneous shift: moving over 12,000 reference books from the basement and second floor to its permanent home on the ground level. At the same time, another 12,000 books from the Children and Young Adult Collection had to be moved from the Lower Level Lab up to the second floor.
The project required careful attention to detail to keep the books in order. The Access Services team gave faculty and staff volunteers the tips and tricks of the trade to make the entire process go smoothly. In all, over a dozen staff members helped out by unloading books off stacks, moving book trucks, and then placing them in the new shelves.
Kabel Stanwicks, Head of Access Services, believes the event gave his department a boost to start the semester. “With so many people coming together to move the collection, we were able to accomplish in one afternoon what would normally take us weeks to complete,” he said. “It was great to see people from all over the Libraries come together to help move this collection.”
The volunteers had fun with it, too. Erich Hammer, Head of Library Systems, spent the afternoon running book trucks back and forth. He spoke fondly of the experience. "Even though a lot of what I deal with every day isn't something you can hold in your hand, I don't mind rolling up my sleeves and sweating a little to help out with the other important needs when asked. Besides, it's more fun than going to the gym!"
Deborah Bernnard, Director of Public Service, put the entire move into context. “The change from tall shelves to lower for our reference collection has been a change that has been in the works for a long time,” she explained. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were finally able to get it done this summer. The south wing of the first floor now has an open and airy feel, which is so much more pleasant for patrons to engage with our extensive reference collection. It is my hope that more students will find their way to this section of the University Library.”