You may have noticed (or not noticed) that I took the month off from blogging. After coming back from ALA, I got busy with my summer class, packing up my apartment and moving to a new house, and packing up my office and the rest of the library with my co-workers and moving into the beautiful new renovated and expanded library.
Yes, I am still sore from all that moving.
We opened last Saturday, and it’s been incredibly overwhelming to see the community’s reaction. We started the day off with a book relay, where families passed the last book to be added to the shelves—Where the Wild Things Are—and then our director yelled “Let the wild rumpus begin!” and the ribbons were cut, and we welcomed over 12,000 people into the new library.
I have a tendency to get emotional, and I was near tears at several points during the day. There were some long, frustrating days leading up to the grand reopening, but it was all so worth it to see families nestled in the reading cubbies in the children’s room, reading aloud. It was so fun to see the children gasp in wonder at the magic of the book sorter that they could watch through the windows back into the circulation room. It was amazing to issue a record number of new cards and check out a record number of books. But the best was hearing so many patrons explain how much they love the staff of the library as much as they love the new space.
My persona favorite part of the new building is the glass sculpture by local artist Dierk Van Keppel, “A Ribbon of Light.” Lawrence is a wonderful community that supports the arts, and dedicated 1% of the budget for the expansion to public art for the building. The design is inspired by DNA structures, because like DNA provides the information to build the cells of our bodies, libraries provide information to the community.
I’m sure I’ll have more to share about the new library, once we’ve all had time to settle in and catch up from all the excitement. But now that it’s August, and my schedule is back to normal, I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule.
How has your summer been?