Four years later, and the dust starts to settle…

I recently had my four year anniversary here at McArthur Library, and those kinds of milestones are always a nice time to reflect upon where one has been, and where one is going. For me, it makes a huge difference when I can actually *see* the changes in things. And boy do things look different than they did four years ago.

Downstairs in the Adult Room stacks area is the most obvious, with the Renovation and the installation of condensed shelving for the Special Collections storage. This, of course, is fabulous and everyone is starting to get the hang of things in their new locations. I know I appreciate not having to run around out back or in the big reading room when I’m working on a project or a local history query.

My pride and joy, however, is the attic. Oh glorious day, the attic. When I first came here, it was stuffed and stuffed again with stuff. Stuff caked with dust, stuff piled in teetering towers on top of empty boxes stacked on stuff. It was an episode of “Hoarders: Buried alive”– only the hoarder was 100 years worth or “I reeeealy don’t want to throw this out, but we can’t use it anymore, so let’s put it in the attic”–and I was the tough, unshockable professional organizer called in to set things right.

Cluttered, dirty attic with no room to walk, March 2007.
–Attic chaos, March 2007–

It has been a long, sweaty, dusty road. It has been working after hours so I could crash, bang, and be a slob. It has been an education in the value of a collection policy. I am mastering the art of logistics to find homes for the stuff that is awesome but not a good fit for us (either collection-wise or we can’t properly care for it). It has been a lot of support from administration so I could do what needed to be done. And no way could I have gotten as far as I have without the willing muscle and sweat of some hale and hearty staff & volunteers, God bless ’em.

Nice clean attic, as of January 7, 2011
–Attic harmony, January 2011–

I’m not done yet. But you know in the big scheme of things four years is not such a long time, considering everything else I’m trying to do while picking away at this project. I’m giving myself a pat on the back, and looking forward to the day when I can truly revel in a job carried out to completion. In the meantime, I’m pretty happy with “you’ve come a long way, baby.”

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