By Rachel Shirey
FOREST PARK — Books are moved from transportation carts to new shelves, computers are unpacked and locked down, even Christmas decorations are pulled out, all in an attempt get the new Forest Park Public Library ready for Sunday afternoon’s grand opening.
Carol Stewart said the process has been both chaotic and stressful, but she has full confidence it will be completed in time.
“Everything about this is too close for comfort,” Stewart said. “There’s a lot that didn’t get completed in the time frame that the library planned for, and now there’s just a huge amount of work happening this week.”
The library had to hire a professional moving company to transfer the branch’s book collection from the old facility to the new facility, and they plan to have everything moved by Thursday.
However, Monday’s afternoon shower put those plans on hold.
“The rain yesterday was a huge problem for the books, and they basically had to stop around 2 p.m.” Stewart said.
Stewart said she and the movers won’t stop working until they have everything ready for Sunday. They will work all day Saturday, if they have to.
The books are organized and transported on shrink wrapped shelves in a truck for protection, but Stewart said things still manage to fall through the cracks.
“There’s always little obstacles that test your patience when you do stuff like this, but overall it’s coming along,” said library aide Ben Hughes. “Things are moving pretty incrementally so those pieces that we can’t control fall into place, and the things we can control, we work out.”
Despite the moving stress, Stewart said they are very excited for the benefits and space the new facility offers. The old library was 45 years old and at full capacity.
The new facility is 16,000 square feet and will include a teen room, a multi-purpose room, a computer lab, a children’s program room, 76 public-use computers, a homework center, toddler area, electrical outlets that contain USB ports in the walls and modern red chairs, ottomans and sectional sofas.
“The most stressful part is knowing that it’s going to get done,” Hughes said. “In the end, we know that it will all work itself out and we’ll be fully functional at some point. We’ve just got to get there.”
The new library branch is located on West Street, next to First Baptist Church of Forest Park.