Port Townsend Library to pack up, move back home to Carnegie building in June
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
The Port Townsend Library will move back into the Carnegie Building in June, after more than a year in a temporary location.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — After more than a year in a temporary location, the Port Townsend Library plans to return to the Carnegie building in June.

“We have a lot to do in a short time,” said technical services director Keith Darrock, who is acting as project manager.

“This is fairly complex, but it’s doable.”

The library moved out of the Carnegie at 1220 Lawrence St., in April 2012, relocating to Mountain View Commons, 1925 Blaine St., to accommodate structural repairs that were completed last summer.

The move back into the space was delayed because of a library bond proposed for the construction of a new annex.

Voters defeated the bond measure in August and the library staff began making plans to return to the now-renovated space.

Since the addition is not a possibility, the library will split its holdings, placing the main collections at the Carnegie building and housing the remainder off-site, where items will be accessible to patrons who request them.

The upper floor of the Carnegie previously housed the reference collections.

Those will not be moved back into that location because it will not withstand the weight of these books.

Instead, the upper floor will become reading room with computers and selected collections.

The lower floor will house the children’s library while the original annex that was constructed in 1989 will hold the adult collections.

Darrock said the move will be a multi-phase process, beginning with the sorting of collections for onsite and offsite storage.

Storage options are yet to be determined, he said, but he hoped that the library could continue to use a Mountain View classroom that is now the temporary location for the children’s library.

Once collections stacked in the Carnegie annex are removed, the furniture and shelving will be shifted for some limited remodeling, such as new paint and carpet and a redesigned circulation area.

After that, the public and staff spaces will be renovated and the collections will be transferred.

When the library moved to Mountain View, the public participated by passing books from one location to the other in a human chain.

That symbolic process will not occur for this move, Darrock said.

“We will have a professional library mover that will package each shelf in order, wrap it in plastic and move it intact back to the Carnegie,” Darrock said.

Beginning March 1, the library will close on Fridays at 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., providing the staff an extra hour weekly to organize the move.

Planning and preparing for the move while continuing to offer regular library services is challenging, staff members said, comparing it to “changing a tire while the car is still moving.”

“This is an ambitious goal,” Interim Library Director Beverly Shelton said, “but we are all ready to move home and are working very hard to make it happen.”

Library hours as of March 1 will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The hours for the children’s area will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, closed Wednesday, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Last modified: February 17. 2014 8:48PM
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