The Book Drop – 5 miles in 10,000 square feet

Today I walked 5 miles inside our 10,000 square foot library.

I did not walk to work. I did not walk home from work. I did not walk the dog. I did make a quick jaunt down to school and back, but only one. I didn’t even make it downtown today.

And I wasn’t the only one walking miles around the library. Today a huge crew of volunteers came and went, adding to the sheer numbers of people popping in all week offering helping hands wherever they could be used. Cleaning the old Choo Choo Store (really, really cleaning it). Shifting books on the shelves as more were checked out and fostered. Packing up office supplies, children’s toys and games, and programming materials. Sorting through binders and binders old paperwork to determine what we need to keep and and what can be shredded (emptying 30+ binders in the process). Dusting and wiping down book shelves. Giving our stuffed animals and puppets a much-needed bath. Cooking us all food and bringing treats. Starting to haul truckloads of things down to our temporary storefront and making organized piles of things ready for the movers to grab Monday morning.

Monday morning the movers arrive, and other than the fact that I could use about one more week to get my desk packed up, they will come just in the nick of time. Our poor collapsing sewer line backed up on us twice in the last three days forcing us to shut down bathrooms for hours at a time. No amount of rodding can fix this mess – if the project hadn’t happened this year we would’ve been tearing up the street to replace the sanitary line anyway. Relief is the right word.

There have been speed bumps along the way, but no derailments, and there have been lots of lucky charms as well. The Design & Construction Committee has pushed really, really hard to keep this project on track to start April 1. And for every moment of anxiety, there have been two or three of unexpected joy and laughter. I can’t believe I am still laughing. Mostly.

It hasn’t hit me yet that we will close the “old Demmer” to the public for the last time at 2 PM tomorrow. But I know from the leaking water heater to the crumbling sewer to the sink that doesn’t like to drain to the carpet that is pulling and bubbling, the nearly 50-year-old building is tired and ready for a break. A few month’s rest and spa treatment, and our “new” Demmer will be ready to welcome us home.

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