Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 28, 2009

Downtown library on the move

Contents of main branch going to Columbian School

The process of moving close to a quarter-million items from the Kokomo Main Library to Columbian School started Monday, the first step in what is expected to be a $4 million renovation.

Librarians, professional movers and an inmate crew from the Howard County jail embarked on what’s expected to be a three-week process just after 8 a.m. Monday.

Downstairs, the librarians were busy taking books off the shelves, starting with the bottom end of the Dewey Decimal System, and working their way up the numbers.

Guyer The Mover, Peru, parked a semitrailer on Union Street. The librarians loaded books, in order, onto wooden bookshelves on rollers. The movers then shrink-wrapped each mobile shelving unit before rolling it onto the truck.

Behind the Main Library, in the east parking lot, patrons browsed through a small collection of books, DVDs and other materials, while other patrons visited the South Branch and Russiaville Branch libraries.

And upstairs, the work crews were readying library furniture for the move to Columbian.

At Columbian, the movers already had a head start. By 10 a.m. Monday, they’d already removed much of the Main Library’s reference section, and had put up enough shelves to be able to unload books as they arrived.

Library director Charles Joray, uncharacteristically attired in jeans and sneakers, was supervising.

“We’ve got a whole schedule of who’s where and who’s doing what, and we’ve had many committee meetings over the last several months — we’ve got it all organized,” Joray said.

The biggest changes for library patrons are expected to come this weekend, when all of the library’s computers — including those at the satellite branches — will be shut down until some time on Oct. 7.

Joray said the computers will be available to the public until 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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