Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Truncating the Library

File this under "sad things that are sometimes necessary". CEI is growing; we have taken on some new rental space. When we moved into this building in November 2009, renting out our much larger corporate headquarters, we occupied six modules of the seven in this building. The seventh module, near the center of the building, was occupied. That company had had the parking lot to themselves for years, and were not happy when we inundated the lot with our corporate pick-ups and engineers and surveyors. So they moved to new quarters across the street.

We got first dibs on their vacated space, but haven't needed it till now. Next week we do whatever modifications are needed to make this space work. The best solution the space layout people came up with was to move the library to the new space and install cubicles where the library is. It's a more efficient use of space.

But, the library must shrink. Since I took responsibility for the library during the last move, I was tasked with it now. First thing to go are old State and City standards. Most of our copies are out of date, and most states and cities have them on-line now, so out they go. If it's a 3-ring binder I open it, salvage any clean divider sheets or tabs, put the paper in an OOP recycling bin, discard glossies and the like, and put the empty notebook in a pile for our off-site supplies storage. For comb binding, about the same thing, including salvaging the comb. My old college buddies would expect no less from the HEEDonist.

Next will be the manufacturers catalogues, most of which are for materials we don't use, are out of date, and are on-line. So out they go. Next will be the Federal standards. Same out of date/on-line situation. Then will be a few shelves of old CEI project notebooks. I won't discard these, since I can't be sure they are duplicates. So I'll box them for off-site archiving. We have 132 shelf segments, and I anticipate I'll reduce the remnant to a little less than sixty shelves. I'll report back when done.

This is sad to me. Perhaps these are not real books, but they are books nonetheless. I hate to discard them. The world won't be a worse place for their being gone. In fact, it might be a better place. We will not have to purchase 3-ring binders for a few years probably (reduce). Less building space will be needed for the same size business (reduce). What can be re-used will be re-used (reuse). And the old office paper will become new paper products (recycle). Maybe the folks who many years ago formed Humans to End Environmental Deterioration would be proud. I won't shed a tear, but neither will I rejoice.

Well, I'd better get back at it.


David A. Todd said...

Have cleared out approximately 30 shelves. Lots of stuff set aside for recycling. Other stuff to the dumpster. About to get back at it. Fifteen to twenty shelves to go.

Gary said...

Took me a week last year to reduce my office paper archives to about 20 percent of the volume. Had to check over a thousand folders for private information and separate into shredding and recycling piles, plus decide what to keep. Exhausting.

David A. Todd said...

I agree with you on it being exhausting, Gary.

It's done. Or rather, it's done enough. Our library has 132 shelves. We had materials on about 125 of them. We now have material on 47, with 85 empty. With more work I could probably shrink it down to 30 to 35 shelves, but I've run out of time.