Beverly J. Obert,
to 2006, a new year, a clean slate just waiting for new ideas and plans to take
shape. What are your New Year’s resolutions for your library?
Maybe you want to clean out the storeroom so that you can find what you need
without having to remove half of the contents. Is there a new program that you
want to try targeting the young adults, senior citizens, new parents, or
genealogist? Is the library out of room to house your collections and needing to
change the type or number of shelves? On the other hand, maybe this is the year
that you start planning for a new building or expansion of the old.
Whatever you wish to do, planning is the first crucial step. What do you want
to accomplish? Have a goal. Write down all the things that need to be done no
matter how small to reach that goal. Develop a time line for completion of each
task and start working through the tasks. Finally once the project or program is
completed evaluate how successful you were and what you would change if you did
Last fall, I was privileged to attend a workshop on Libris Design. This is a
software program developed by the California State Library through an LSTA
Grant. By using this massive access database, you can design a library down to
the smallest detail. You can designate numerous areas, from a garage to a room
for servers. If an area is not in the program, you can create one that fits your
needs. Furniture can be selected from a wastebasket to shelving, computer desks
to display cases. If you do not see an item of furniture, add it to the inventory.
What collections does your library have? How much shelving do you need? How much
of the collection circulates, and how many books do you want on the shelves? The
collection portion of the program answers these questions. You can designate
what your target collection size will be in say, 5 years, and calculate the amount
of shelving and the space that will be needed.
In the end you can print out reports that show exactly what is in each area, the
furniture and space needs, collection space and approximate cost. This is a very
powerful and versatile tool.
Start with a square foot space, and add items together and see what will fit.
ADA compliance is built in. Need to change shelving from 4 shelves to 6 shelves
per unit and wonder how many you need? You can calculate it with this program.
If you have a project you want to start on, contact me here at RPLS and I can
talk with you about the parameters of the project and see if Libris Design can