Monday, February 13, 2012

Library Updates


You may have noticed that the CARL has had limited parking available the past couple of weeks, but it might just be time to start getting used to closures and limitations around the library.  Although the parking lots will reopen, CARL will be packing up and moving out to a temporary space on the old Bell Hall lot, which is just across the street from the current location.  After the move CARL and all of Eisenhower Hall will be under renovation for the following year (into 2013).  What is expected to change? Where will our collection go? How is the CARL staff handling packing?  Hear from our director, Ed Burgess, as he answers these questions and more about …

Construction at Fort Leavenworth

Remodeling a library?  Need some excitement in your life? 
The Combined Arms Research Library on Fort Leavenworth is a consolidated facility that has two main missions.  It is the academic library for the Army’s Command and General Staff College.  It is also the public library for the military families living on the Fort and in the surrounding area, civilian workers and retired military.  The CARL is housed in Eisenhower Hall, one of five buildings comprising the CGSC campus. 
The CARL is in the throes of a building renovation.  The library renovation will dramatically transform the current library building into an inviting and usable library and academic support center.  We will have improved HVAC, more power, more communication ports, a geothermal system, efficient lights, demand lighting in the stacks, and a bunch of other improvements.  Overall, energy use should decline by 30%.  There will be new carpet, furniture and shelving. There will also be two information desks, and more public computers.  The children’s library will be moved from the second floor to the first, behind a glass wall, for easier access. 
This spring the CARL Main, Archives and Document collections will be moved into a commercial cave in Lenexa.  Library staff will retrieve materials for use by the College and Post communities.  We expect to send a van once a day, a trip of about 40 miles one-way. 
The CARL staff and selected academic and post library material will be housed in temporary quarters located across the street from our present building.  We’ll have room for new books, fiction, J and Y books, and a set of academic readings we know will be heavily used by CGSC students. 
Movement of the collections will start April 19th.  Completion of the project is scheduled for March 2013.  I’m currently trying to balance the prime contractor (JE Dunn), the Corps of Engineers, the installation Department of Public Works, the College academic departments, the increasingly nervous CARL staff, and the professional library moving company subcontracted for the job.  We’ve been planning for a year and have a good set of blueprints, a solid construction schedule, and a continual desire to curl up into a fetal ball. 
Today’s excitement was that the insurance company hired by Dunn wants a list of every item in the library so they can insure them.  Does this mean I hand them a spreadsheet with 300,000 books and every piece of realia we own?  Possibly—more to come on that.  At least I know how to do that, if not how to value the books individually.  How do you put a value on 120 years of irreplaceable College archives?  Oh, and we need this in a week. 
The managements at all levels have been consistent in supporting the CARL.  We expect to continue operations with (almost) no interruption.  We’ll still buy books, catalog them, and weed them.  We will have a Wednesday morning story and crafts hour for preschool children.  We will still do in-depth research for Master’s and PhD candidates.  We probably will not have a nervous breakdown.  Probably. 
There’s certainly more to come on this.  I’ll have more to say as we get further down the timeline.  Should be exciting.
Ed Burgess
Director, CARL

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